The fact that science and medicine have changed our lives by a three sixty degree angle cannot be denied. The progress in medicine has reached the zenith’s height. Every day some new invention marks the field of medicine, but only few of these
Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material (a vaccine) to stimulate an individual’s immune system to develop adaptive immunity to apathogen. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate morbidity from infection. The effectiveness of vaccination has been widely studied and verified; for example, the influenza vaccine. the HPV vaccine, and the chicken pox vaccine. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus from much of the world.
The active agent of a vaccine may be intact but inactivated (non-infective) or attenuated (with reduced infectivity) forms of the causative pathogens, or purified components of the pathogen that have been found to be highly immunogenic (e.g., outer coat proteins of a virus). Toxoids are produced for immunization against toxin-based diseases, such as the modification of tetanospasmin toxin of tetanus to remove its toxic effect but retain itsimmunogenic effect
In common speech, ‘vaccination’ and ‘immunization’ have a similar meaning. This distinguishes it from inoculation, which uses unweakened live pathogens, although in common usage either is used to refer to an immunization. Vaccination efforts have been met with some controversy since their inception, on scientific, ethical, political, medical safety, and religious grounds. In rare cases, vaccinations can injure people and, in the United States, they may receive compensation for those injuries under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Early success and compulsionbrought widespread acceptance, and mass vaccination campaigns have greatly reduced the incidence of many diseases in numerous geographic regions.
Discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796, vaccination was a watershed invention in the field of medicine. The discovery of vaccination has reduced the catastrophic consequences of the most fatal diseases like the bubonic plague, cholera, typhoid, malaria etc. Once you take the vaccine your immunity system becomes resistant to these fatal epidemics. You are injected with some chemicals that make your body resistant to against various pathogens.
9 The artificial heart:
Your heart is the engine inside your body that keeps everything running. Basically, the heart is a muscular pump that maintains oxygen andblood circulation through yourlungs and body. In a day, your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. Like any engine, if the heart is not well taken care of it can break down and pump less efficiently, a condition called heart failure.
Until recently, the only option for many severe heart failure patients has been heart transplants. However, there are only slightly more than 2,000 heart transplants performed in the United States annually, meaning that tens of thousands of people die waiting for a donor heart. On July 2, 2001, heart failure patients were given new hope as surgeons at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, performed the first artificial heart transplant in nearly two decades. TheAbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart is the first completely self-contained artificial heart and is expected to at least double the life expectancy of heart patients.
In this article, you will get an in-depth look at how this new artificial heart works, how it’s implanted into a patient’s chest and who might be a candidate for receiving one of these mechanical hearts. We will also compare the AbioCor heart to the artificial hearts that have failed in the past.
Your heart is the engine of life in your body. Statistics say that the major cause of death amongst masses is a heart attack, which may be caused due to high level of cholesterol or depression or whatever. This drove cardiologists to discover an artificial heart which could replace the natural one during a heart attack. Robert Jarvik was the person to make a successful artificial heart implant, Jarvik-7, in 1982.
In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming observed that colonies of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus could be destroyed by the mold Penicillium notatum, proving that there was an antibacterial agent there in principle. This principle later lead to medicines that could kill certain types of disease-causing bacteria inside the body.
At the time, however, the importance of Alexander Fleming’s discovery was not known. Use of penicillin did not begin until the 1940s when Howard Florey and Ernst Chain isolated the active ingredient and developed a powdery form of the medicine.
Originally noticed by a French medical student, Ernest Duchesne, in 1896. Penicillin was re-discovered by bacteriologist Alexander Fleming working at St. Mary’s Hospital in London in 1928. He observed that a plate culture of Staphylococcus had been contaminated by a blue-green mold and that colonies of bacteria adjacent to the mold were being dissolved. Curious, Alexander Fleming grew the mold in a pure culture and found that it produced a substance that killed a number of disease-causing bacteria. Naming the substance penicillin, Dr. Fleming in 1929 published the results of his investigations, noting that his discovery might have therapeutic value if it could be produced in quantity.
Derived from the Penicillium mold, Penicillin is one of the oldest discoveries in the field of medicine. It was invented by a bacteriologist Alexander Fleming whilst he was working in his laboratory in London in 1928. But the importance of the discovery was not realized till the early 1940s. Only after Ernst chain and Howard Florey isolated the powered medicine that the world realized the importance of this huge invention. It was only after penicillin that all the antibiotics have landed up in the market.
7 Laser Surgeries:
Laser surgery is surgery using a laser (instead of a scalpel) to cut tissue. Examples include the use of a laser scalpel in otherwise conventional surgery, and soft tissue laser surgery, in which the laser beam vaporizes soft tissue with high water content. Laser resurfacing is a technique in whichmolecular bonds of a material are dissolved by a laser. Laser surgery is commonly used on the eye. Techniques used include LASIK, which is used to correct near and far-sightedness in vision, and photorefractive keratectomy, a procedure which permanently reshapes the cornea using an excimer laser to remove a small amount of tissue.
Green laser surgery is used for the treatment/reduction of enlarged prostates. Laser surgery is much safer than normal surgery as it makes no physical contact so no infections are spread
LASER (Light Amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) was a breakthrough discovery in the field of medicine. They have become of utmost importance in removal of cataracts and also in other eye operations. It employs a laser to while cutting a tissue. It can be used with several effects like photochemical effect, photothermal effect, photomechanical effect etc. Its applications are majorly in gastro-instestinal tract illness and endovascular surgery. These days’ people are able to fix their myopias and hypermetropias with the help of laser surgery only. Lasers were invented in 1960 but they were not employed is surgeries until 1987.
6 Germ Theory:
Germ theory states that many diseases are caused by the presence and actions of specific micro-organisms within the body. The theory was developed and gained gradual acceptance in Europe and the United States from the middle 1800s. It eventually superseded existing miasma and contagion theories of disease and in so doing radically changed the practice of medicine. It remains a guiding theory that underlies contemporary biomedicine.
Awareness of the physical existence of germs preceded the theory by more than two centuries. Discoveries made by several individuals also pointed the way to germ theory. On constructing his first simple microscope in 1677, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek was surprised to see tiny organisms – which he called ‘animalcules’ – in the droplets of water he was examining. He made no connection with disease, and although later scientists observed germs in the blood of people suffering from disease, they suggested that the germs were an effect of the disease, rather than the cause. This fitted with the then popular theory of spontaneous generation.
The observations and actions of Ignaz Semmelweis, Joseph Lister and John Snow would retrospectively be acknowledged as contributing to the acceptance of germ theory. But it was the laboratory researches of Louis Pasteur in the 1860s and then Robert Koch in the following decades that provided the scientific proof for germ theory. Their work opened the door to research into the identification of disease-causing germs and potential life-saving treatments.
Invented by Louis Pasteur, it states that many diseases in the body of an organism are caused by some specific micro-organisms. It was invented in 1800s and went on to gain huge popularity in the realm of medicine. It underlines the theme of contemporary biomedicine. Prior to the discovery of the germ theory it was believed that one should be surrounded by bad smells in order to keep the bad influences of diseases away, but post the discovery of germ theory the importance of cleanliness came into play. It made the people realize the importance of sanitation and gave a way through the causes of the then-new diseases cholera, typhoid etc
The electromagnetic nature of x-rays became evident when it was found that crystals bent their path in the same way as gratings bent visible light: the orderly rows of atoms in the crystal acted like the grooves of a grating.
X-rays are capable of penetrating some thickness of matter. Medical x-rays are produced by letting a stream of fast electrons come to a sudden stop at a metal plate; it is believed that X-rays emitted by the Sun or stars also come from fast electrons.
The images produced by X-rays are due to the different absorption rates of different tissues. Calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most, so bones look white on a film recording of the X-ray image , called a radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb less, and look gray. Air absorbs the least, so lungs look black on a radiograph.
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen – First X-ray
On 8 Nov, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (accidentally) discovered an image cast from his cathode ray generator, projected far beyond the possible range of the cathode rays (now known as an electron beam). Further investigation showed that the rays were generated at the point of contact of the cathode ray beam on the interior of the vacuum tube, that they were not deflected by magnetic fields, and they penetrated many kinds of matter.
A week after his discovery, Rontgen took an X-ray photograph of his wife’s hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones. The photograph electrified the general public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Röntgen named the new form of radiation X-radiation (X standing for “Unknown”). Hence the term X-rays (also referred as Röntgen rays, though this term is unusual outside of Germany).
William Coolidge & X-Ray Tube
William Coolidge invented the X-ray tube popularly called the Coolidge tube. His invention revolutionized the generation of X-rays and is the model upon which all X-ray tubes for medical applications are based.
Other inventions of Coolidge: invention of ductile tungsten
A breakthrough in tungsten applications was made by W. D. Coolidge in 1903. Coolidge succeeded in preparing a ductile tungsten wire by doping tungsten oxide before reduction. The resulting metal powder was pressed, sintered and forged to thin rods. Very thin wire was then drawn from these rods. This was the beginning of tungsten powder metallurgy, which was instrumental in the rapid development of the lamp industry – International Tungsten Industry Association (ITIA).
Discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, it is considered to be the most useful discoveries of all times. Imagine you having an accident, and the doctor touching your body parts to see which bone has been broken! This could have been the scenario without this important discovery. X-rays have the capability of penetrating through the matter so they have proved to be a great support in the realm of medicine.
The Discovery of Insulin
Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a feared disease that most certainly led to death. Doctors knew that sugar worsened the condition of diabetic patients and that the most effective treatment was to put the patients on very strict diets where sugar intake was kept to a minimum. At best, this treatment could buy patients a few extra years, but it never saved them. In some cases, the harsh diets even caused patients to die of starvation.
During the nineteenth century, observations of patients who died of diabetes often showed that the pancreas was damaged. In 1869, a German medical student, Paul Langerhans, found that within the pancreatic tissue that produces digestive juices there were clusters of cells whose function was unknown. Some of these cells were eventually shown to be the insulin-producing beta cells. Later, in honor of the person who discovered them, the cell clusters were named the islets of Langerhans.
In 1889 in Germany, physiologist Oskar Minkowski and physician Joseph von Mering, showed that if the pancreas was removed from a dog, the animal got diabetes. But if the duct through which the pancreatic juices flow to the intestine was ligated – surgically tied off so the juices couldn’t reach the intestine – the dog developed minor digestive problems but no diabetes. So it seemed that the pancreas must have at least two functions:
- To produce digestive juices
- To produce a substance that regulates the sugar glucose
This hypothetical internal secretion was the key. If a substance could actually be isolated, the mystery of diabetes would be solved. Progress, however, was slow.
In October 1920 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Frederick Banting, an unknown surgeon with a bachelor’s degree in medicine, had the idea that the pancreatic digestive juices could be harmful to the secretion of the pancreas produced by the islets of Langerhans.
He therefore wanted to ligate the pancreatic ducts in order to stop the flow of nourishment to the pancreas. This would cause the pancreas to degenerate, making it shrink and lose its ability to secrete the digestive juices. The cells thought to produce an antidiabetic secretion could then be extracted from the pancreas without being harmed.
Early in 1921, Banting took his idea to Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, who was a leading figure in the study of diabetes in Canada. Macleod didn’t think much of Banting’s theories. Despite this, Banting managed to convince him that his idea was worth trying. Macleod gave Banting a laboratory with a minimum of equipment and ten dogs. Banting also got an assistant, a medical student by the name of Charles Best. The experiment was set to start in the summer of 1921.
Diabetes was taking a toll over lives until the invention of insulin. Doctors knew that the reason for diabetes was increasing levels of sugar, but the only way to combat diabetes was to put the patients on a very strict sugar-less diet. It earned them a few more years but never saved them. Only after the discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting in 1920s, that the people were saved from starving on sugar-less food! Insulin reduces the conversion of fat into glucagon thus reducing the chances of diabete.
3 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) is an MRI procedure that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow.This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.
The primary form of fMRI uses the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contras, discovered by Seiji Ogawa. This is a type of specialized brain and body scan used to map neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or animals by imaging the change in blood flow (hemodynamic response) related to energy use by brain cells,Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate brain mapping research because it does not require people to undergo shots, surgery, or to ingest substances, or be exposed to radiation.Another method of obtaining contrast is arterial spin labeling.
The procedure is similar to MRI but uses the change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood as its basic measure. This measure is frequently corrupted by noise from various sources and hence statistical procedures are used to extract the underlying signal. The resulting brain activation can be presented graphically by color-coding the strength of activation across the brain or the specific region studied. The technique can localize activity to within millimeters but, using standard techniques, no better than within a window of a few seconds.
FMRI is used both in the research world, and to a lesser extent, in the clinical world. It can also be combined and complemented with other measures of brain physiology such as EEG and NIRS. Newer methods which improve both spatial and time resolution are being researched, and these largely use biomarkers other than the BOLD signal. Some companies have developed commercial products such as lie detectors based on fMRI techniques, but the research is not believed to be ripe enough for widespread commercialization
This was a major discovery in the genre of medicine. Earlier when it was difficult to determine the exact location of the tumor in your brain, it was the invention of the functional magnetic resonance imaging which came to the rescue. It gets you know what is happening inside the brain without interfering with its activity. It can also track the blood flow in the brain as well as the Alzheimer’s disease.
2 Modern Telehealth:
A perfect combination of technology and medicine, modern te
lehealth is when doctors interact with their patients using technology like computers, pagers, etc. It helps in better diagnosis of the disease by exchanging images, videos, data etc.
Telemedicine is a rapidly developing application of clinical medicine where medical information is transferred through the phone or the Internet and sometimes other networks for the purpose of consulting, and sometimes remote medical procedures or examinations.
Telemedicine may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as complex as using satellite technology and video-conferencing equipment to conduct a real-time consultation between medical specialists in two different countries. Telemedicine generally refers to the use of communications and information technologies for the delivery of clinical care.
Care at a distance (also called ”in absentia” care), is an old practice which was often conducted via post. There has been a long and successful history of in absentia health care which, thanks to modern communication technology, has evolved into what we know as modern telemedicine.
In its early manifestations, African villagers used smoke signals to warn people to stay away from the village in case of serious disease. In the early 1900s, people living in remote areas in Australia used two-way radios, powered by a dynamo driven by a set of bicycle pedals, to communicate with the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
The terms e-health and telehealth are at times wrongly interchanged with telemedicine. Like the terms “medicine” and “health care”, telemedicine often refers only to the provision of clinical services while the term telehealth can refer to clinical and non-clinical services such as medical education, administration, and research. The term e-health is often, particularly in the UK and Europe, used as an umbrella term that includes telehealth, electronic medical records, and other components of health IT.
1 Molecular Breast Imaging:
Molecular breast imaging (MBI) is a new nuclear medicine technique that utilizes small semiconductor-based ?-cameras in a mammographic configuration to provide high-resolution functional images of the breast. Current studies with MBI have used Tc-99m sestamibi, which is an approved agent for breast imaging. The procedure is relatively simple to perform. Imaging can be performed within 5 min postinjection, with the breast lightly compressed between the two detectors. Images of each breast are acquired in the craniocaudal and mediolateral oblique projections facilitating comparison with mammography. Key studies have confirmed that MBI has a high sensitivity for the detection of small breast lesions. In patients with suspected breast cancer, MBI has an overall sensitivity of 90%, with a sensitivity of 82% for lesions less than 10 mm in size. Sensitivity was lowest for tumors less than 5 mm in size. Tumor detection does not appear to be dependent on tumor type, but rather on tumor size. Studies using MBI and breast-specific ?-imaging have shown that these methods have comparable sensitivity to breast MRI. A large clinical trial compared MBI with screening mammography in over 1000 women with mammographically dense breast tissue and increased risk of breast cancer and showed that MBI detected two-to three-times more cancers than mammography. In addition, MBI appears to have slightly better specificity than mammography in this trial. MBI provides high-resolution functional images of the breast and its potential applications range from evaluation of the extent of disease to a role as an adjunct screening technique in certain high-risk populations. MBI is highly complementary to existing anatomical techniques, such as mammography, tomosynthesis and ultrasound.
Breast cancer has been taking a toll over many women in the recent past. While mammography is one of the most popular techniques of diagnosing breast cancer, it does not help in detecting the tumors that lie deep in the breasts. MBI is a more powerful technique that leads to much powerful scans in dense breast tissue.
It is these inventions that have lead to the development of medicine. The improvements in medicine have been spectacular. Now one out of every third individual is vaccinated against the most common epidemics. The mortality rate has declined drastically. The average life expectancy has increased from just a mere 20 years to 80 years. The above mentioned inventions have revolutionized the realm of medicine. Not only for humans but also the animal kingdom has been relishing the new tastes. The infections of anthrax, rabies and all which were earlier thought to be mysteries have got their vaccinations. Earlier while you needed some 15 injections if you are bitten by a dog, now only one injection is enough make it big. Following is the list of top 10 medical inventions of all times.