Since the beginning of time, healers, doctors, grandmothers, and even neighbors, have been sharing their recommended treatments for our most troubling ailments. While some of their advice probably caused more harm than good, other tips have gone as far as being used as the basis of the most profound drugs and medical tools at our disposal today.
You probably couldn’t imagine how people lived before anesthesia or vaccines…well, honestly, most of them didn’t. Read on to find out which medical discoveries changed the way we live, you surely won’t take the that Advil Liqui–Gels for granted next time you suffer from a headache.
Aspirin was first introduced in 1899 by Farbenfabriken Vormals Friedrich Bayer & Co, and is still one of the most common over-the-counter pain-relieving drug used, and is taken daily by people who are at risk for heart attack.
Aspirin first came in the form of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), it was widely believed at the time of its discovery that aspirin relieved pain by stimulating the central nervous system. Today, its uses extend far beyond simple pain management, and it is even thought to possess inflammation-fighting characteristics that have the potential to aid in the treatment of heart disease and numerous cancers.
Scottish physician, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 by accident, after leaving a petri dish of Staphylococci bacteria uncovered just to discover later that the bacteria had been killed by a mold. With the help of a pathologist, Howard Walter Florey and a biochemist, Ernst Boris Chain, Fleming found a way to isolate and purify it to produce the first antibiotic, tried and true to this day.
Antibiotics and Antivirals have revolutionized the treatment of infections and the field medicine as a whole, saving millions of lives throughout the decades.
As implied by its name atorvastatin, most commonly sold as Lipitor, derives from the class of drugs known as Statins, which used to treat high cholesterol and heart disease. While decreasing bad cholesterol, which is what puts some at risk for heart disease, Statins also decrease the liver’s production of good cholesterol and causing unwanted side effects.
Despite these relatively mild side effects, Lipitor has not only improved the quality of life of the millions but has also saved thousands of lives since its introduction in 1985, making it one the best-selling prescription drug of all time.
Discovered by a man named George Rieveschl, who was looking for a cure for muscle spasms, but in fact, Benadryl turned out to be an amazing antihistamine that helps with everything from the common cold to hives and bug bites; it's even used treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
It first required a prescription but in the 1980’s it was FDA-approved for over-the-counter use. Today, you'll hardly find a home in the US without a bottle of Benadryl in their medicine cabinet “just in case”.
Zolpidem, most commonly known as Ambien, was first introduced in 1991 and is a sedative drug used to induce sleep.
While helping to maintain sleep is still an issue unless it’s a controlled release dose, Ambien has helped millions of people feel more rested and get their circadian rhythm adjusted. Zolpidem is now available in several generic forms.
Epinephrine is a synthetic form of adrenaline, and when injected into the body it raises blood pressure and opens airways. That opening airways part is what can make it life-saving if you’re having an asthma attack or going into an anaphylactic shock due to an allergic reaction.
Epinephrine is the key ingredient in the EpiPen, that was first approved in 1987, which is a small device, about the size of a large marker, that auto injects a single dose of Epinephrine.
Levothyroxine is a synthetic replacement for the hormone produced by the Thyroid gland that regulates the body's energy and metabolism.
Before this drug, people who suffered from hypothyroidism would have symptoms like fatigue, thinning hair, weight gain, constipation, dry skin..so as you can imagine, Levothyroxine has absolutely changed people's quality of life.
In 1949, Mechlorethamine officially became the first FDA approved drug for the treatment of cancer. Interestingly it comes from Nitrogen Mustards, which was developed for chemical warfare.
Mechlorethamine is still used for cancers like lymphoma and leukemia, and for other ailments such as Hodgkin’s disease.
Salbutamol, also known as Albuterol opens up the airways allowing relief for those suffering from an asthma attack. It was first introduced in Great Britain in the 1960s and wasn't approved for use in the United States in the 1980s
So for all of you that own an asthma inhaler, it’s very likely this is the drug that comes to your rescue.
If you’re of legal age, you've probably have heard of Viagra, and know what it's used for, in fact, it may already be saving your love life.
"The Little Blue Pill" has been helping men who suffer from erectile dysfunction since 1998, undoubtfully increasing their quality of life, as well as their partners.
The RhoGAM shot
Rhesus factor (Rh), refers to the genetically inherited protein found outside our red blood cells. If you have the protein, like the majority of people, you are "Rh+", and if you don't, then you are "Rh-."
When an Rh- woman gets pregnant, it can cause complications and even a miscarriage if the baby too, is Rh+. So, the RhoGAM shot is given to these women to protect the baby and enable healthy deliveries.
The insane asylums of humanity's darker ages would contain people suffering from severe psychiatric diseases, unfortunately for these patients, it was believed that these misunderstood diseases should be treated with drastic "treatments."
When Chlorpromazine AKA Thorazine came into the picture it changed psychiatric drugs forever. Before its introduction, patients would either suffer or resort to taking lithium, and its harsh side-effects. Thanks to Thorazine, today these patients can live close-to-normal lives; have jobs, raise families, and didn't have to spend their days locked up in a mental institution.
Methylphenidate AKA Ritalin is, for some children (and their parents), a miracle drug. Children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD have experienced substantial relief from their symptoms allowing them to focus more easily, and excel in school and other activities.
While there is much debate and controversy over whether Ritalin is overprescribed nowadays, nonetheless, there is no doubt that for some children and families, it has vastly improved their quality of life.
This medication helps to regulate estrogen levels in women, which can help treat PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), a rather painful condition where patients develop cysts on their ovaries. They may not ovulate regularly, or at all, and this can often lead to infertility.
Today Clomid helps millions of women with PCOS and other infertility issues, regulate their estrogen level and ovulate, which allows them to conceive.
A form of what we now call General Anesthesia can be traced back thousands of years when healers of ancient civilizations would use opium or cocaine on people during invasive procedures. But it wasn't until 1846 when American dentist William T. G. Morton first demonstrated the use of "ether anesthesia" for surgery, thus, the foundation of modern general anesthesia was born.
Just think about it...before ether's discovery, people were literarily being held down and given a piece of leather to bite on, to have their limbs amputated. So, ether deserves a firm place on this list.
Prozac was first approved for use in 1987 and since has been joined by a small family of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) which has not only helped thousands of people who suffer from depression find relief but has also helped changed the way society views depression and other mental illnesses.
As the stigma of depression evolves, society as a whole has become sympathetic towards people who suffer from depression, and understand that they can't just tell themselves to be happy; however, we can all encourage such people to seek treatment, without shame. Prozac to the rescue!
Morphine is an opiate first isolated in 1806 from the opium poppy, and it used to manage pain. Opiates have been used throughout history for pain management, easing the suffering for those healing from injuries or dealing with a terminal illness.
Morphine is used to make other common opioids like hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and heroin, which is often abused as a recreational drug.
Developed during the early 1960s, Furosemide AKA Lasix is a potent diuretic used to regulate fluid build-up in the body that is often caused by heart failure, liver issues, or kidney disease. It’s also used to treat high blood pressure, which can potentially lower the risk for a heart attack or stroke, as well as edema.
In 2016 it was in the top 15 drugs prescribed in the U.S. so you can just imagine how many people depend on it this miracle pill.
Ondansetron marketed under the brand name Zofran, blocks the chemicals in your brain that cause nausea. So, if you’ve ever gone under general anesthesia, and woke up without the urge to vomit uncontrollably, you can thank your friend Zofran for that.
It also helps with nausea associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments and gastroenteritis.
AZT or Zidovudine was first introduced in 1987, is an antiretroviral drug used to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, so naturally it was considered a massive breakthrough for those living with HIV/AIDS.
While it doesn’t cure HIV/AIDS, but when used in conjunction with other therapies, it often stops the progression of the disease, for example, preventing HIV from turning into full AIDS. Another great thing about this drug is that can also be used during childbirth to keep an HIV+ mother from passing the virus to her fetus.
Emtricitabine/Tenofovir sold under the brand name Truvada, is an HIV antiviral drug that can help treat HIV and reduce the risk of infection if taken once-daily along with practicing safe sex. If you think about the fact that in 2018 there were 37.9 million people in the world with HIV/AIDS, you can understand how Truvada was such a HUGE step for those at risk for HIV, like those with HIV+ spouses or partners.
For treatment, it's taken either alone or together with other antiretroviral medications, and for prevention, it's taken before exposure, while also practicing safe sex. It does not cure HIV/AIDS, but it's absolutely the best option the people affected have as of now.
Arsphenamine, better known as Salvarsan, was discovered in Germany in the 1900s and was the first effective treatment for Syphilis and is also considered the first chemotherapeutic drug.
Salvarsan as a treatment was replaced by penicillin in the 1940s, but during its reign, it was a huge relief for all of the people around the world who had syphilis, as all previous treatments involved Mercury. So, while we no longer use this drug, it was a breakthrough in the world of therapies for everything from STD’s to cancer.
Mestranol/norethynodrel or Enovid was the first hormonal, daily pill, contraceptive. Few medical advancements have had as a profound social impact as the "birth control pill". Although the FDA approved contraception as safe in the early part of 1960, it didn't become legal for married couples until 1965, and for unmarried couples in 1972.
Today, there are everal different delivery methods available that some in the form of shots, implants in your arm, skin patches, and vaginal rings. Birth Control gave women more control over their own fertility, thus over the decades, more women have able to graduate college, advance in their careers and decide for themselves when they see fit to start a family.
Warfarin AKA Coumadin is an anticoagulant, which is not a "blood thinner" like commonly believed, it simply prevents the blood from clotting effectively. Patients with previous issues with deep vein thrombosis, stroke, pulmonary embolism or atrial fibrillation have usually prescribed this drug which can essentially extend their lives.
It’s also used after some invasive procedures to keep the body from developing clots which can cause severe complications.
Insulin was discovered by a team of Canadian scientists in 1921, and since has drastically increased not only quality of life but also life expectancy for those with both type I and type II Diabetes.
Insulin is made by the pancreas and helps our bodies to process sugar, so when then the pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, the body’s blood sugar levels rise without regulation causing serious complications like coma and even death. Prior to insulin, these patients were given a near-starvation diet to help manage the symptoms. Today insulin converts sugar to energy in diabetics, allowing them to live close-to-normal lives.
While vaccines are not technically drugs, but a form of preventative medicine there's no doubt about their importance in the prevention and spread od epidemics. Like Polio, for instance, a disease caused by a virus was once one of the leading causes of handicaps in the world and a source of widespread fear and panic.
Since the introduction of the Polio vaccine in 1955, the disease has been eradicated from nearly every part of the world. Children are still given the vaccine before starting school as while rare, Polio still does exist.
Smallpox was another epidemic that plagued the world population, it's still remembered as one of the worst threats we have ever faced. Just to get a picture of the magnitude of the virus, it was as deadly as cancer or heart disease in today's terms, killing well over 10% of the population.
Thanks to the development of the smallpox vaccine in the 19th century it was one of the first diseases to be wiped off the earth, making its eradication one of humanity's greatest achievements!
Believe it or not, mustard gas was one of the first chemotherapy agents used to treat cancer, yes, the same gas used as chemical warfare in World War I. But, mustard gas has also been proved to kill cancer cells; however, it is not selective, meaning that it also damages healthy cells which didn't improve the mortality rates much.
The first drug to prove itself as a better contestant against cancer was methotrexate, which in 1956 cured a rare tumor called choriocarcinoma. Thanks to research on methotrexate, over the next few decades scientist, have been able to develop newer and improved chemotherapy drugs with different mechanisms of action, which have led to dramatic improvements in patient survival and a significant decline in mortality rates.
Pharmaceutical drugs aren't the only medical discoveries that have changed the way we live, but several theories and tools have contributed to our quality of life and to society's increasingly lower mortality rate.
Before the "germ’ theory" even the smartest of scholars during those times believed that diseases were caused by "spontaneous generation," meaning they thought that disease could just appear out of thin air, rather than being transferred via skin-to-skin contact.
Luckily for us, in 1861, French microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, proved once and for all, by a simple experiment that infectious disease was a result of microscopic organisms (or pathogens) invading living hosts. This understanding marked a huge turning point in how sickness and disease were treated and prevented, thus helping humankind manage epidemics that were responsible for thousands of deaths each year, such as, dysentery, typhoid fever, and influenza.
Clean Water and Improved Sanitation
These public health measures probably don't seem as big of a deal compared to surgical advances or life-changing drugs we mentioned before, but the fact of the matter is that clean water and sanitation have saved billions of lives since widely implemented back in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Just a century ago, 15% percent of infants would die, with diarrhea from drinking unclean milk and water. And deadly water-borne diseases like cholera have drastically lowered the impacts of parasitic infections and other conditions that are now remembered as problems of the dark ages.
Randomized Controlled Trials
Another important medical development that often goes unnoticed it the advent of the randomized controlled trial -- the gold standard of medical research. It gave medical researchers one of their most important tools in determining which treatments really work, and which are just victims of the placebo effect.
In a randomized trial, the patient are divided into two groups, where one group receives the "intervention" to be studied, while the other group does not.
Once upon a time, a doctor's prescription came as a powder that had to be measured out and dissolved in water or alcohol. This caused not just inconvenience but frequent errors resulting in over- or under-doses. Then Dr. Upjohn created the gelatin capsule. "This allowed individual dosing," Benet says.
"It predates the tablet. It is the beginning of individualization in the way we treat patients." Steroids. "Hydrocortisone and other corticosteroids have an enormous range of uses any time control of inflammation and the immune system is needed," Stone says. "There would be a lot of people with a lot of problems if we didn't have this drug."
While Galileo invented a device to measure temperature in the late 1500s, Gabriel Fahrenheit is credited for inventing the first mercury thermometer in 1714 which is still in usage today!
Today the good ol' mercury thermometer is being phased out in favor of the digital thermometer, considering the risk of mercury poisoning it poses, plus everything is digital nowadays. In the midst of the Coronavirus epidemic, new infrared thermometers have become popular, as they for distance when examiners are trying to detect fever in potentially-contagious people.
Advancements in Childbirth
Up until the middle of the 20th century, childbirth was considered to be the most feared time of a woman's life. You could literally go into any old cemetery, and you'd see the number of women who died in their 20s, which in many cases was from childbirth.
With the advances in anesthesia techniques, forceps delivery, and cesarean section, the chances of successful delivery have vastly improved, at least in the more developed countries. Unfortunately, many third world countries still lag behind in this arena.
Before the stethoscope was invented, doctors would try to listen to their patient’s heartbeats by simply putting their ear on to their chests, a quite crude and impractical method that failed in many instances.
The legend has it that French physician, René LaënnecHe invented the ‘stethoscope’ when he couldn’t accurately judge the heart-rate of one of his patients on account of him being obese. So, he made a wooden trumpet-shaped tube that could amplify the sounds coming from his patents lungs and heart. The principles behind this simple, yet profound invention is still used today.
Although it may seem like these medical needles have been around since the beginning of time, in fact, the often feared hypodermic needle was invented only about 150 years ago. There have been records dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, of physicians using thin hollow tools to inject fluids into the body.
The modern hypodermic needle was in the mid-1800 by Charles Pravaz and Alexander Wood. Today, these ubiquitous needles are used daily to deliver correct drug dosage in treatments and for extracting body fluids with minimal pain or risk of contamination.
Over the decades, a series of teeth-cleaning methods came and went, including twigs with frayed ends, handles with boar bristles, toothpicks, and even cleaning teeth with a sponge soaked in brandy which was probably the most enjoyable of the bunch. In 1938, a company now called DuPont, first introduced "Dr. West’s Miracle-Tuft toothbrush", the type of nylon-bristled, every-day brush, you hold in your hand.
Thus, yet another device that revolutionized the course of medicine was born, and we are now keeping our teeth longer than ever before. And think about it, oral health affects our eating habits, and our confidence, so no wonder research suggests that a healthy mouth means a longer and better life.
Spectacles are another one of those medical breakthroughs that most people take for granted. While there is no concrete evidence to determine a singular person to credit with this spectacular invention, a "four-eyed" person myself, I personally thank all those involved.
Centuries ago, people used an early prototype of the modern spectacles which was to be held in front of the eyes while reading or balanced on the nose. Scholars hypothesize that with the increased availability of printed books, so did the cases of myopia increase, which eventually led to the introduction of the modern spectacles.
I've mentioned before how women often died during childbirth, and one of the most common causes was the uncontrolled bleeding after delivery. James Blundell, a British obstetrician, knew that if he were to find a way to transfuse more blood into these women, it could save them, but he also knew that all of the prior attempts by his peers often ended with fatal results.
In 1818, Blundell made his first human to human blood transfusion attempt on a woman who was hemorrhaging after childbirth. With her husband as the donor, Blundell transfused 4 ounces of blood into the woman. Luckily she survived, but not all of Blundell’s patients after were so fortunate because no one yet understood that blood came in different types — and that a transfusion with the wrong type would lead to immune rejection and, often, death. Once this was discovered in 1901 by Austrian doctor, Karl Landsteiner, blood transfusion could be done safely and correctly and is now an uncomplicated procedure.
Only a very few surgical interventions carry as much complexity, or as much ethical debate, as does organ transplantation. The first successful transplant operation, took place in 1954, in which a kidney was removed from one donor and place into the body of his identical twin.
Other successful organ transplants followed, including the first liver transplant, in 1967, and the first heart transplant a year later, in 1968. Today, in the United States alone, there are more than 90,000 people awaiting an organ transplant.
Maggot Debridement Therapy
Whoever said that medical instruments couldn't be alive? Well, apparently the Maya and Australian Aboriginals were the first to realize this! They would tightly tamp wounds with maggots, knowing they'd selectively feast on infected and necrotized tissue, leaving behind the healthy flesh. And doctors in all of our major wars have all used maggots to treat infected wounds.
Today, more than 800 U.S. health care centers use medical Maggot Debridement Therapy on patients. These immature flies have turned out to be an effective option for treating open wounds that won’t heal, commonly caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (the MRSA superbug), diabetic foot ulcers, and other flesh-eating diseases.
Fun fact, the earliest evidence of condom use was found in a 12,000-year-old cave painting in Europe. These "rubbers" would later bounced around for the next few thousand years as an effective form of birth control, but it wasn't until 1494 that they truly became recognized as a medical device of importance, why you ask- syphilis!
A massive outbreak of syphilis began in Europe and quickly spread to Asia. Condom usage to prevent disease had finally begun to be taken seriously. The first versions use materials like oiled linen and silk, sheep intestines, thin sheaths of leather, and goat bladders, and finally, in 1855 the first rubber prophylactics were introduced, and the modern latex condoms arrived in the 1920s. Today condoms are strongly recommended for people with more than one sexual partner to prevent STDs like HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, and gonorrhea.
A thoughtful cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson (Band-Aids’ creator) invented them back in 1920 for the many minor cuts and burns his beloved, but clumsy wife got while cooking and keeping their home. And by 1942, millions of Band-Aids accompanied World War II soldiers overseas.
Band-Aids have even made it to space! In 1963, Mercury astronauts took them on their space voyage. Band-Aids became the go-to therapy for loving parents wanting to make their children's boo-boos better. But they actually do help minor wounds heal more effectively with less scarring and infections.
The first "ambulance" was created by Anglo-Saxons in A.D. 900 and was simply was a hammock attached to a wagon used to transport the wounded and immobile. The ambulance as a proper vehicle didn’t become a thing until 1952, and it took England’s most catastrophic rail accident, the tragic Harrow and Wealdstone rail crash, to make it happen. There was complete outrage when the public learned that many of the 112 victims could have survived with faster treatment.
Governments around the world began experimenting with the new emergency vehicle, and in 1968, the city of Jacksonville, Fla., implemented its first official ambulance service capable of both on-site and in-transit emergency care, its effect was substantial.
Improvements in Heart Surgery and Cardiac Care
Unfortunately, heart disease remains at the top of the list of the country's top killers. Despite this, the numerous and important advances in its treatment have made a considerable impact, extending and improving the lives of its sufferers.
Not the least of these advancements is surgeons' ability to operate on and repair the heart -- without putting the patient at an unreasonable amount of risk. "Maybe the breakthrough moment was the rise of the heart-lung bypass, which made it possible to operate on the heart for more than just a few minutes at a time," Baker said. "This was followed by coronary artery bypass grafting, which is, I believe, a most important procedure."
Before the development of radiologic imaging, beginning with the use of the X-ray, doctors were usually limited to looking for external signs of injury or damage. So, if the stethoscope transformed doctors’ ability to make diagnoses by simply listening to your inner parts, imagine the exponential advantage that medical imaging provided!
The ability to peer inside the body and determine the presence, cause and extent of disease has completely revolutionized the very way doctors operate, thus X-rays, MRIs and CTs can be credited for saving countless lives.
The Dangers of Tobacco Smoking
You've probably seen those 1950' ads of sophisticated businessmen, pregnant women, and even doctors promoting cigarette smoking. Well, that's because, for the longest, it was promoted as a harmless pass-time, and at some point was even said to be beneficial. “More doctors smoke Camels,” was once boasted on a 1946 advertisement, and “Smoke a Lucky to Feel Your Level Best!” said another one, with a beautiful 17-year-old girl as a model.
And even when talk began to rise, of the link between smoking tobacco and lung cancer, cigarette companies tried their best to keet on the hush. Once public health efforts succeeded in convincing the public that tobacco smoking was dangerous, cases of lung cancer dropped dramatically. For instance, the 1958 Gallup poll showed that only 44 percent of Americans thought smoking might cause cancer, and by 1968, another poll showed that the number had successfully risen to 78 percent.
Stem Cell Therapy
The incredible potential of stem cells was discovered in the late part of the 1970s when they were found inside human cord blood. There are two specific characteristics that make stem cells remarkable: they are unspecialized cells that can renew themselves through cell division, even after being inactive, and under certain conditions, they can be used to make any type of human cell. That's as close to the supernatural as you can get.
This discovery has enormous potential, and stem cell therapy has already been used to treat certain cancers like leukemia and other blood disorders, as well as in bone marrow transplants. And scientists are optimistic that the cure for degenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimer's lie within stem cells.
This milestone invention was the fruit of two Australian scientists’ labor, Mark C. Hill and physicist Edgar H. Booth in 1926. The prototype was a portable set up consisting of two poles, one connected with a salt solution soaked skin pad and the other to a needle that was inserted into the patient heart chamber.
Despite such a crude design they both successfully brought back to life a stillborn baby. Today the pacemakers are much more sophisticated with an average battery life of 20 years.
Prosthetics and Implants
Life with handicaps is a very hard experience not just at the physical level, but at the mental and emotional level as well. The invention of the prosthesis has been a big breakthrough in enabling the physically handicapped to live a life that isn’t limited to wheelchair and crutches.
The modern prosthesis is made from carbon fiber that is lighter and stronger than metal and is more realistic. The upcoming prosthesis has inbuilt myoelectric sensors that enable gripping and holding on brain impulses. 3 d printing
Defibrillation of the heart isn’t a very recent concept, it has been known for decades, but its introduction into clinical setting was brought about by Claude Beck when he successfully defibrillated a young boy’s heart during surgery.
Today, defibrillators save millions of lives from the brink of death around the world.
Emergency Medical Equipment
Emergency Medical Equipment is one of the most significant ways that technology has saved lives in healthcare. Simple devices like bag valve masks, medications bag ventilators, spinal boards, cervical collars, stretcher sand many more, have probably save d just as many lives as some sophisticated pharmaceutical drugs.
When it comes to saving lives, timing is everything and lives or death can be determined by actions taken (or not taken) in a matter of milliseconds. Today, well-equipped hospitals increase the odds of even the most grotesque injuries.
The ability to artificially maintain the function of a failing organ didn’t begin with the first kidney dialysis machine. Tools such as the iron lung saved thousands of polio victims’ lives when the disease caused respiratory failure. But it was the invention of the first practical dialysis machine in the 1940s that showed doctors could replace the function of even the most complex organs almost indefinitely. Compared to the relatively simple lung, a kidney’s function is remarkably complex.
And the iron lung, as well as its predecessor, the ventilator, are downright elementary in design compared with the large number of technologies that converge in a modern dialysis machine. Most importantly, though, is the impact of dialysis. Over 430,000 Americans currently receive lifesaving dialysis, an increase of 57 percent since 2000, making it the most common organ replacement therapy device in use.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
'Ever wondered what the medical assistant or your doctor is looking at on their screen? With only one or two questions like your date of birth and the reason for your visit, they are able to retrieve your whole medical history in matter of a couple of clicks. And that’s an excellent thing! The information contained in your electronic medical records (EMR) lets your healthcare provider know what you’ve been treated for in the past and what they can do to help you now.
EMRs can also help keep track of medication prescriptions assuring that no new prescription reacts adversely with new ones being prescribed. These systems also help pharmacists to help give you the right medications and dosages, also control inventory so that when medications are in high demand, they have plenty in supply to meet the patient's needs. Can you imagine if you imagine doing this all manually...thankfully technology helps to ensure that no major mistakes happen.
Vital Signs Monitors
Some of the very first steps healthcare workers take when you step into a medical facility is checking out your vital signs. Things as simple as your temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, can give a pretty clear indication if something’s wrong so you can be treated immediately.
This is another machine that hasn't been around very long but has made a world of a difference when it comes to treating patients in emergency and intensive care settings.
Process automation by using medical robots can help doctors provide early diagnoses, along with higher accuracy, which is a dynamic duo when it comes to saving lives. Healthcare industries have been toying around with the idea of AI and machine learning for quite a while now. Unlike human surgeons, robots don't get tired and rarely make mistakes, making them potentially a safer option for extremely complicated procedures.
Google has already introduced a machine learning program that can detect breast cancer. As more and bigger (and wealthier )names in medicine and IT continue to invest in this type of research, don't be surprised if you happen to have a robot treating you next time you end up in the hospital.
From measuring wounds to automating joint replacement - there’s an app for that! With the advancements of "smartphones" rose our obsession with apps, and now mobile applications can even track all types of health-related activities and patients can share the information with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their own homes.
The latest health apps allow diabetics to monitor their blood sugar without having to prick their fingers, and provide patients at high risk, or recovering from or of a heart attack with a “pocket EKGs” on their phones. Doctors are even using mobile apps that help them measure patient wounds, and monitor them over time. As you can see, the options are limitless!
Laser surgery is a procedure that uses a laser to cut tissue, the light beam vaporizes soft tissue with high water content, and is commonly used on the eye. Lasers provide more precise and calculated incisions than a traditional scalpel, making if a safer option for procedures that involve rather sensitive areas and organs.
And as much as I'm thankful for the invention of prescription glasses, they can be inconvenient at times, and Lasik eye surgery is a simple procedure that allows people to ditch their glasses in a matter of minutes.
Modern Plastic Surgery
Whenever you think about plastic surgery, faces of perfect Hollywood starlets and their enhanced bodies may pop to your head. But in fact, plastic surgery was developed and advanced for far less vain purposes. Like treating ghastly burn-patients during World War II. A New Zealand doctor, Archibald McIndoe, was among those who took upon himself the daunting task of treating such men.
He developed a new method that included first treating the crew with saline water. McIndoe got this idea after he noticed that the pilots who were ditched at sea and, therefore, ended up in saltwater, their burns healed significantly better than those who were left on land. Then McIndoe would operate immediately, using his new skin-grafting techniques. Not only did patients experience much less scarring, but it also allowed them to begin using the burned area far sooner in the healing process. And the rest is... well, Kim Kardashian.