The Benefits of Modern Medical Innovations in 10 Cases

Medical imaging of a skull.

A Brief History of Modern Medicine

Hundreds of years ago, illnesses were treated with natural remedies like herbs and plants. Modern medicine, or medicine as we know it today, has come a long way since then. With the help of economic and industrial innovation, scientists were able to quickly make advancements in medicine, including identifying and treating new illnesses. A few of the most notable modern medicine innovations include:

  • The discovery of a connection between microorganisms and disease leading to the process of pasteurizing liquids
  • The invention of the stethoscope and its use in diagnosing chest infections
  • The creation of a number of vaccines for diseases like smalpox, influenza, and more
  • The first successful heart transplant

Advancements in Medicine

The story of modern medicine is told every day on Figure 1. In tens of thousands of images, we see snapshots of medical innovation, technology, and incredible skill at work to save human lives. Here are 10 cases that offer a glimpse of the benefits of modern medicine healthcare professionals see every day around the world — and what they share with each other on Figure 1.

  1. An emergent therapy called ex-vivo lung perfusion is used to improve organ quality prior to transplantation.
  2. A human skull that will be rebuilt. Mesh has been applied to provide stabilitity and a framework for soft-tissue reconstruction.
  3. …Which sometimes involves 3D printing a prosthesis or model
  4. Even the heart can be replaced by an artificial heart
  5. And beds can rotate patients who need to be prone
  6. A patient’s small veins can be sewn to reconstruct a damaged part of an inferior vena cava
  7. A prosthetic ear looks just like the real thing, even including earrings
  8. A patient can swallow a camera to see inside their GI tract
  9. A device that remotely monitors cardiac rhythm
  10. And the patient’s blood can be removed, oxygenated by a machine using ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation), and pumped back into the body.
Blood being removed from the body, oxygenated by a machine, and pumped back into the body.

Modern Medicine Innovation

Advancements in medicine have come a long way over the last century, but there is still much research and testing to be done. Scientists and medical professionals are currently working on stem cell therapy, HIV treatment, and so many more medical innovations.

Published October 20, 2021

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