It would be accurate to say that the last century has completely transformed the field of medicine. Cures in the form of vaccines, medicines, devices have sped the process of diagnosis and treatment that has significantly impacted the life span of people living with serious illnesses. One of the biggest examples of medical advancements in our lifetime is the COVID-19 vaccine. It has been developed near-record time by researchers.
In this article, we attempt to list some significant medical advancements of the last 100 years that have altered the way we live. Read on to know more.
- Pacemaker (1936) – While electric impulses to stimulate the heart were in use for a number of years, Dr. Albert Hyman devised a spring-wound, hand-cranked electro-mechanical instrument he called the pacemaker. It was in 1958 that the first patient received an implantable pacemaker.
- Dialysis (1943): It is to Dr. Willem Johan Kolff’s credit to build the first ever dialyzer. This invention has completely changed the lives of people suffering with kidney disease by giving them a chance to live a long and healthy life.
- Magnetic Resonance (1952): Nuclear magnetic resonance used to conduct an MRI scan was developed by Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell. The first MRI exam was conducted on a patient in 1977. This was a landmark in non-invasive diagnosis.
- Cochlear Prosthesis (1957): A significant milestone in the field of hearing, Andre Djourno performed the first cochlear implantation in 1957.
- Fetal Ultrasound (1958): Dr. Edward H. Hon is credited with using the doppler ultrasound to detect fetal heartbeat. Today, it has become a standard practice in prenatal care around the world.
- CT Scanner (1971): It is to Dr. Godfrey Hounsfield credit that CT scans have become available to the common man. He developed the first commercial CT scanner. The first CT scan was done on a patient in London who was suspected to have a frontal lobe tumor.
- First bionic limb (1993): The recipient of the first bionic limb was a patient diagnosed with muscular cancer. The patient wore a cap that had micro-sensors which detected brain impulses sent to his missing limb and used them to control the arm.
- 3D printed body parts (2013): 3D printing technology has allowed researchers to print body parts with synthetic materials as well as by using bioprinting, that is, growing cells from a patient’s stem cells to encourage quicker healing.
Everyday researchers are working towards improving the health of people by finding solutions that reduce severity of illnesses and eliminate diseases. These inventions have given hope to the human race to live a long and healthy life.
If you know some other cool inventions that didn’t make the cut here, share it with us in the comments. We would love to know about them. If you’d like for us to list advancements in other fields, we’d love to put it together for you.