One component of the broader field of Health Technology which includes: One component of the broader field of Health Technology which includes


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One component of the broader field of Health Technology which includes:

  • One component of the broader field of Health Technology which includes:

      • Health-care products, equipment, tools, and medicines that are used to prevent, diagnose, monitor, and treat various conditions or illnesses
  • Engineers continuously strive to develop new technological devices that:

      • Improve quality of health care
      • Provide a more accurate diagnosis
      • Detect problems earlier
      • Are non-invasive (no incision)
      • Decrease the recovery time/rehabilitation period


In 1900: -average life expectancy for a human in

  • In 1900: -average life expectancy for a human in

  • the United States was 47 years

  • In 2000: -average life expectancy was nearing 77 years

  • This increase of 30 years was a result of several factors including:

      • Creation of a safe water supply
      • Wide assortment of medical advances in:
        • diagnosis
        • pharmaceuticals
        • medical devices
        • various other forms of treatment


In the early beginnings of humankind, disease was viewed with mystery

  • In the early beginnings of humankind, disease was viewed with mystery

  • Hippocrates (460-377 BC) and Claudius Galen (131-201 AD) described the four humours

    • Measured deficiency or excess of body fluids with respect to the changing seasons
    • **First documented Western physicians to actively engage in the science of healing to increase the quality of life for their patients**




Medical technology slowly evolved in response to diseases with high mortality rates (Black plague –Europe, 1348 and 1350)

  • Medical technology slowly evolved in response to diseases with high mortality rates (Black plague –Europe, 1348 and 1350)

    • Medicine and medical technology has become the antidote for illness and disease that formerly destroyed entire societies


Patient descriptions of symptoms and personal observations

  • Patient descriptions of symptoms and personal observations

    • Rarely a physical examination of body
  • Theoretical and philosophical approach

  • This started to change as physicians realized that medical texts first published in 11th century and the general practices of the time had many errors

  • By the 18th century, manual techniques to diagnose patients became more accepted as a medical practice

    • Use of cadavers and physical touch (public was very reluctant)


For the majority of the 19th century, general practitioners provided in-home patient care

  • For the majority of the 19th century, general practitioners provided in-home patient care

    • Decentralized and rural
  • Most of the medical equipment that they used fit easily into the doctor's “little black bag”

  • In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm C. Roentgen accidentally discovered a form of electromagnetic radiation that could pass through the body and leave an image of its bones or organs on a photographic plate. The birth of the X-ray sparked a revolution!



By the 19th century, physicians used machines for diagnosis or therapeutics instead of instinct

  • By the 19th century, physicians used machines for diagnosis or therapeutics instead of instinct

    • Hutchison’s device for measuring vital capacity of the lungs was one of the first technologies to numerically measure an essential body function
    • Herisson’s sphygmomanometer for blood pressure measurement was also an early device
  • Slow change from the use of subjective evidence provided by the patient, to objective evidence obtained by mechanical and chemical technology devices



Diagnostic tools such as the electrocardiograph, CAT scan, and MRI followed, as did the development of artificial and transplanted organs and joints, as well as other surgical devices and techniques designed to keep the body functioning.

  • Diagnostic tools such as the electrocardiograph, CAT scan, and MRI followed, as did the development of artificial and transplanted organs and joints, as well as other surgical devices and techniques designed to keep the body functioning.

  • These advancements and the discovery of antibiotics and other life-saving drugs contributed to increasing the life span of people throughout the developed world—on average nearly 30 years longer than their ancestors a century ago.

  • National Academy of Engineering, 2009



1903

  • 1903















































































Most of us have encountered some kind of medical technology in our lives. Even if we have not experienced it ourselves, someone we know probably has.

  • Most of us have encountered some kind of medical technology in our lives. Even if we have not experienced it ourselves, someone we know probably has.

  • If you have ever broken a bone, you have probably had an X-ray taken. If someone in your family has had kidney problems, he or she might have had to go on dialysis. Perhaps you know someone who has been through organ transplant surgery, heart surgery, or fertility treatment.

  • There are many kinds of technology that help medical professionals diagnose and treat health problems.



“Medical technology has embedded itself in our culture and has been a positive and powerful force in the improvement of life for millions of people.

  • “Medical technology has embedded itself in our culture and has been a positive and powerful force in the improvement of life for millions of people.

  • However, for every yin there is a yang, and with all things that are positive, there is also a negative component that must not be ignored.

  • Most Americans are familiar with the benefits of technology, specifically medical technologies; the media reports on these benefits every day. However, it is not often that physicians and patients have the opportunity to discuss what has been given up, lost or sacrificed as a result of using these same technologies.”



Write a list of medical technologies that you, or people you know, have experienced.

  • Write a list of medical technologies that you, or people you know, have experienced.

  • Describe each technology and what it does in as much detail as possible. If possible, describe how you or the person you know felt during the procedure.

  • Did you/they have positive or negative feelings about the technology?



Share your list of medical technologies with a partner.

  • Share your list of medical technologies with a partner.

  • Discuss your feelings about the technologies. Do any of them have ethical implications?

  • Have the technologies made a difference to human life-span and quality of life? Explain.

  • From your perspective, which are the top 5 most significant technologies? Provide reasoning for your choices.

  • Blogging Response #2: Due Friday, October 18th

  • What are the top 3 most significant technologies? Provide

  • reasoning for your choices.




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