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Tech Inventions That Changed The Health Industry Forever

Medical technology seems like something that will be sterilized stainless steel and whirring centrifuges and miraculous machines that make us see and hear and feel better and longer than our parents imagined. But the reality of it is often more like a smear of penicillin in a petri dish that changes everything.

Inventiveness and luck alone aren't the secret sauce for changing the healthcare industry, either. These game-changers often improve aspects of treatment that aren't always part of the original goal. Innovative healthcare tech can be game-changing if it enhances accessibility of care, efficiency of care delivery in terms of the time involved, the accuracy with which diagnostics can be performed,

the level of personalization technology brings to the table, and the cost-effectiveness of the endeavor, which is often enhanced by tech. You might not think of these factors as strictly healthcare pursuits, but they do improve and occasionally revolutionize healthcare outcomes

Of course, healthcare itself isn't always what improves and lengthens lives. That Aperion study credits sunscreen with saving twice as many lives as CPR, and synthetic fertilizers with saving more lives than just about anything else by simply enabling agriculture to produce more food. We will focus on the health industry here, but the biggest potential sometimes lies down other avenues.

Medical imaging is not, of course, a single technology, but an umbrella term for a bunch of different methods of getting a handle on what's going on within our bodies. One example might be a combination of these methods, like the Explorer total-body scanner, which performs both PET and CT scans. Without these advancements, we'd be devoting a lot more resources to palliative care. The tech in question includes x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds, and each has changed the diagnostic landscape in its own way.

ut x-rays themselves aren't just a diagnostic tool. They are used to guide surgeons, monitor the progress of therapies, and inform treatment strategies for the use of medical devices, cancer treatments, and blockages of various sorts. In 1896, the then-hyphenated New-York Times mocked Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen's medical application of X-ray imaging as an "alleged discovery of how to photograph the invisible." Five years later, Röntgen won the Nobel Prize in Physics. A century later, X-rays have replaced invasive surgeries and guesswork as a core diagnostic tool for doctors at every level.

Less a new imaging technology than a brilliant implementation of existing methods, computed tomography (CT) uses cross-sectional X-ray images acquired from various angles and computer algorithms to rapidly create a navigable, three-dimensional image of small or large parts of the body. Because it's based on X-rays, CT scans are better at imaging bones than soft tissues. CT scans provide many of the same benefits as other medical imaging methods, enhanced for many purposes by their speed and superior imaging of bones.

A Nobel Prize was awarded in 1952 for work that would become the basis for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technology that uses magnetic fields and non-ionizing radio frequency radiation to acquire stacked images ("slices") that offer superior soft-tissue contrast to other technologies. The ability to differentiate among many soft tissues and liquids, including distinguishing cancerous from non-cancerous cells, has been a boon to medical diagnostics

Diagnostic medical sonography (ultrasound) is an imaging technique that can be employed to examine and monitor unborn children or regions of the body that might be more sensitive to radiation, such as the pelvic area. Ultrasound uses changes in high-frequency sound waves to image areas of the body without invasive surgeries or methods that require the use of radiation. Ultrasound devices range from the sort of large machines you'll find in hospitals to tiny modern devices like the Ultrasound Sticker. Ultrasound is a critically important diagnostic tool. Its reduced risk makes it practical for creating three-dimensional images, including 3D time-series visualizations that can show movement and changes in tissues over time.

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