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The rise of different inventions and their current state of development

The development of many medical devices that will give patients easy access to track their health conditions and keep them out of life-threatening situations has upped the bar for innovation in medical technology. Over the past 25 years, the development of new medical devices has accelerated, in part because of the rapid advancement of scientific and engineering expertise. Let's look back to those years to see when they were created and what changes have occurred since. The creation happened a very long time ago, and since then, there have been a lot of significant changes.

Organ transplants

Drs. Joseph Murray and David Hume transplanted the kidney for the first time in a human in 1954 in Boston, USA. The turning point was reached when many technical challenges were resolved, including vascular anastomosis (the joining of two blood vessels), placement of the kidney, and immune response. The first lung transplant was carried out in 1963, and then procedures on the liver, pancreas/kidney, and heart were conducted in 1966 and 1967, respectively.

The first successful living donor liver transplant occurred in 1989. The first successful partial face transplant took place in 2005. Over the years, transplant procedures have advanced and become more complex, saving numerous lives along the way. Surgeons completed the first-hand transplant in 1998 and the first full face transplant in 2010.

2020: The first COVID-19 patient to receive a double lung transplant.

The history of organ donation and transplantation is continuously being written, from the more recent full-face transplant to tissue and eye transplants more than a century ago.

Medical imaging/Radiology

Wilhelm Roentgen's invention of the X-ray in 1895 marked the beginning of radiology as we know it today. At the University of Wurzburg, experiments with a cathode-ray tube and glass unexpectedly led to the 1895 discovery of invisible rays that could pass through most substances and leave shadows that could be recorded on photographic plates. At the time, due to the unknown nature of these rays, Rontgen labeled them as "X-rays".

When the plate is developed, the different densities of the tissues within the body will be detected, and it will be able to reveal any potential abnormalities by highlighting them.

Rontgen received the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901 for his outstanding work establishing the groundwork for modern radiography and other scientific achievements.

The Eastman Kodak Company's George Eastman introduced the film in 1918, replacing radiographs made on glass photographic plates and marking the next step in the development of radiographic imaging.

In the 1950s, nuclear medicine started to be utilized as a way to diagnose pathology in the body. This technique is based on injecting radionuclides into the patient along with pharmaceuticals that will target organs or groups of cells that are more active than others. A gamma camera records these images, which can identify medical issues earlier than conventional tests.

In the year 1961, James Robertson, an American, created the first single-plane positron emission tomography (PET) scan. In the 1970s, computed tomography (CT scan) was developed. The idea behind this technique is to slice the body into a succession of photos and then put them back together with a computer to visualize the internal structures of the body. The first NMR image was released by American chemist Paul Lauterbur in the 1970s as well. Hospitals began to deploy MRI scanners in the early 1980s.

In the 1990s, ultrasound became a common practice in pregnancy as a way to track the growth and well-being of the fetus.

The University of Canterbury received a $12 million grant in 2014 for building the first human color X-ray scanner ever.

Medical imaging has revolutionized medicine, progressing from the creation of images on glass photographic plates to high-resolution digital modalities that make use of advanced technologies. Because of these advancements, diagnosing a medical issue is much more accurate, and exploratory surgery is also less often required. For many individuals, this should result in an early diagnosis and more effective treatment options.

Sphygmomanometer (Blood Pressure Meter)

Over the past few decades, the development of blood pressure measurement has advanced slowly in comparison to cell phones, social media, televisions, and travel. Galen, a Greek philosopher, and physician under the Roman Empire served as our starting point for this historical journey. He expanded on Hippocrates' finding that at the moment of death, arteries stopped bleeding. Galen proposed the idea that the arteries in the circulatory system contain "pneuma." Pneuma was thought of as a life force pushed around the body by the heart.

Beginning in the early 1600s, a physician by the name of William Harvey established a more comprehensive understanding of circulation and the circulatory system. Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals), which he later published in 1628, is a work he started writing about circulation and teaching in 1615. His research laid the groundwork for the study of the circulatory system, and his work is still highly recognized today. Once the correlation between heart rate and pulse was discovered, it was possible to determine blood volume and blood pressure.

In 1733, Reverend Stephen Hales inserted a glass tube into a horse's (and other smaller animals') artery. He concluded that the rise and fall of the blood in the tube must be the result of variations in blood pressure. In 1881, Dr. Von Basch of Austria created the sphygmomanometer, also known as the blood pressure monitor.

It was complicated, even though it was regarded as the first non-invasive method of measuring human blood pressure. The instrument had a mercury column to record the reading and a rubber bulb filled with water to manipulate blood flow in the artery.

Scipione Riva-Rocci made more improvements to the device in 1896. A cuff that could be affixed around the arm to impart uniform pressure to the limb was one improvement that would later become the typical design for such devices.

The Riva-Rocci device was modified by a physician by the name of Nikolai Korotkoff in the late 1800s. As a result of this modification, the device could fit around the arm and took on the form of the blood pressure cuff we still use today.

Since then, sphygmomanometer technology has advanced further. Blood pressure measurement has improved in accuracy and is now widely recognized as a crucial vital sign for diagnosing a patient. It is now accessible in a range of forms, including mercurial, aneroid, and electronic versions. However, advanced blood pressure monitors have appeared on the market, such as Doori Healthables, that only require the tip of your finger. This device monitors not only blood pressure but also other vital signs, including heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature.


With the advancement of medical technology and improvements over time, many illnesses can now be detected and treated with greater ease. It is now possible to utilize several medical devices easily at home without frequently traveling to clinics or hospitals thanks to advancements in technology. We can only hope that these advancements continue, and new technologies develop in order for future generations to tremendously profit from them and keep up their health.

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