The science of medicine is always being revolutionized by new discoveries and technologies. From the first surgery to the first heart transplant, medicine and its tools have become more effective and efficient with each passing year. In fact, many of the most important advancements in the medical field have come from the fields of engineering and technology. If you’ve ever wondered how medicine has changed over the course of history, keep reading to learn more about the impact of machines and technology on medicine.
The invention of the screw
The first screw was invented in the 14th century, though it was not used as an orthopedic surgical device until the 17th century. The screw is a type of orthopedic screw that can be used for fixation in cases of fracture, dislocation, and ligament sprain. The original screw had a broad base that allowed for a simple procedure and was easy to construct, but it had no special capability to hold the bone securely. In fact, when people had a broken bone, they would often put a hock bone in the bone to prevent it from moving around. The first screw was created to act as a hock bone that could then be taken out.
The invention of the stethoscope
The stethoscope was invented by an Italian physician named Renaldo Toraldo de Filippis in 1817 and was first used as a diagnostic tool during 1820. Before the stethoscope, physicians primarily relied on their ears to listen to the heart and lungs, but it was soon discovered that listening to the heart with a stethoscope could allow physicians to hear many more sounds they could not hear with their ears alone, such as the sounds of blood flowing, the sounds of the lungs, and the sounds of the diaphragm.
This technology was so revolutionary that the first-ever Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (which was awarded in 1901) was awarded to L.M.S. Nils Malmström for his work on the development and application of the stethoscope.
The development of the X-ray
The use of X-rays to detect and diagnose injuries dates back to 1895 when German physician Wilhelm Roentgen discovered that certain types of radiation could produce images on film when an X-ray machine was used to photograph an injured area. In fact, it was not until 1927 that radiologists began to use X-rays to diagnose injuries and diseases, and they used them to make a wide range of diagnostic tools. These tools include X-rays used to image bones and muscles, X-rays used to detect cancers, and even X-rays used to diagnose psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
The development of the MRI machine
The MRI machine was actually developed in the late 1940s, but it was not used as a diagnostic tool until the 1960s. The development of this machine was a result of many of the breakthroughs that were made in the field of radiology. One of the most important discoveries during this time was the discovery of the Wigner Effect, which is a phenomenon that occurs when certain types of magnetic fields cause certain types of atoms to emit radio waves. By putting an iron object inside an MRI machine and putting the machine in a magnetic field, radiolucent (radiowar-inducing) iron atoms can be detected and mapped by the machine.
Robots in the operating room
Robots are now used during surgeries, but the first robot was actually developed in the 1960s. The first robot was used to help surgeons cut through tissue and organs more efficiently and safely during abdominal surgeries. Many robotic surgeries were first used in the field of urology, but now they are being used for many other types of surgeries, such as gynecology.
Robot surgery is still in its early stages and there are many improvements that need to be made before this technology can be used in all surgeries. However, robots are already helping surgeons operate on patients who cannot be operated on in person, such as people in space.
3D printing and prosthetics
3D printing has made it easier to print custom prosthetics, but it was also developed in the 1960s. This technology made it possible to print out new parts for patients whose limbs have been damaged or amputated. 3D printing has also been used to make new medical devices and implants. For example, 3D printing has been used to print out new heart valves and artificial bones that can be used to construct new limbs.
The invention of the screw, the development of the MRI machine, the use of X-rays, the invention of the airplane and the use of helicopters have all made traveling a lot easier and safer, but the most significant change in medicine is the development of robots in the operating room.