There have been more medical breakthroughs in the last 100 years than in many previous centuries combined. The 20th century saw the incredibly rapid, exponential growth in the fields of science and technology. Medical equipment benefited it greatly from the advent of computer technology especially. Here are 10 of the most crucial breakthroughs in medical equipment that changed the world of healthcare in these last 100 years.
1. The Portable Defibrillator
Today, you can see the portable defibrillator everywhere. The first portable defibrillator was made by Frank Pantridge, in 1960. It is still the best device for resuscitating those who've gone into cardiac arrest.
2. The First Artificial Heart
Robert Jarvik finished work on the first artificial heart in 1982. The device was meant as a temporary replacement for patients waiting for transplant surgery.
3. The Laser Scalpel
The first laser was created in 1960. The technology developed rapidly and in 1964, the carbon dioxide laser made possible the invention of the laser scalpel. The laser scalpel revolutionized medical surgery, especially in the field of ophthalmology, as it allowed doctors to make delicate, precise cuts without using blades.
4. Balloon Catheter
The first balloon catheter was invented by Thomas Fogarty in 1963. It became the popular standard model, allowing for continuous draining of the bladder.
5. The Pacemaker
The first pacemaker was made in 1950, by John Hopps, an electrical engineer. But it wasn't until the late 1950s that an implantable design was created by New York researcher Wilson Greatbatch.
6. Ultrasound Machine
In 1962, William Wright, Ralph Meyerdirk and Joseph Holmes made the first B-mode scanner, a precursor to their first commercial portable ultrasound scanner released in 1963.
7. The AbioCor Heart
The AbioCor heart, invented by AbioMed, made headlines in 2001 as the most revolutionary advancement in artificial heart technology since the Jarvik heart. The AbioCor uses medical miniaturization technology and runs on an internal battery and is meant not as a temporary replacement between transplants, but as a long-term heart substitute.
8. Portable EKGs
The portable electrocardiogram was invented in 1961 by Frank Sanborn. EKGs monitor the heart muscles electrical signals.
9. Fetal Monitor
Though conceived in 1960, the first commercially viable fetal monitor by Professor K. Hammacher and Hewlett-Packard was not completed until 1968. It allowed doctors to detect fetal distress during labor.
10. CT Scanner
The first commercially usable CT scanner was invented in 1971 by UK scientist Godfrey Hounsfield. CT scanners are today the highest standard for medical imaging, allowing doctors to ascertain the nature of symptoms by looking inside the human body.
Looking for the best refurbished medical equipment could be hard to come by these days, but because of the breakthroughs over the years it has become easier to look for the right one.