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Western University
History 2812E
Shelley Mc Kellar

Fighting Disease with Medical Technology March 14 OutlineDefining Medical Technology th The Introduction of Medical Instruments and Machines late 19 century o Extending the physicians sense The Stethoscope o Technology in the Hospital The XRay th Disease Experiences with Medical Technology early 20 century o Tuberculosis and Fluoroscopyo Cancer and Radiation Therapy o Polio and the Iron LungThe Reign of Medical Technology ReassessedTermsRene TH Laennec 17811826Wilhelm C Rontgen 18451923Defining Medical TechnologyHow are machines used over time What meaning do we assign to technology Historically and culturally contingentWho is promoting funding the machineNot all machines introduced in practice because of political social cultural factorsMachines can have more than one meaning beyond what was intendedHow has medical technology altered our concept of disease and how do we go about fighting disease and whyMedical technologyBroadly defined medical technology encompasses the instruments devices machines drugs and systems developed for medical research andor clinical practiceMost historians agree that the process of innovation is not one way linear progression rather multi directional incremental serendipitous circularNew medical technologies not adopted because it was superior than previous technology many other factorsTechnological determinism many scholars argue this is not a way to understand technology it is not inherent in shaping society political and social factors shape technology and our understandingsth19 century Medical Instruments and MachinesOldest diagnostic instrument probably the vaginal speculum dates back to Rome th In the 18 century a primitive stethoscope was created however it was not used in day to day treatment th In the 19 century technology was designed to understand what was happening within the bodyPreviously studied dead bodies but doctors wanted to see inside living bodiesInstruments were seen as extension of physicians senses see hear inside the bodyPhysicians eager to expand their ability to diagnose and treat their patients initial acceptance of new instruments and tools to gain thisStethoscope 1819Invented by Rene LaennecBeginning to understand respiratory diseases at this time the stethoscope greatly helps this understandingLaennec born in western France orphaned at young age raised by two uncles one priest and one physicianenlisted as surgical aid in the army at 14In early 20s he had considerable experience and knowledge went to Paris to study under masters1816 lands an official position at the prestigious Necker hospital o he gained this position after the Restoration of the royals in 1815 shows that he was a royalistwhen treating a stout woman with heart problems he was unable to hear he heart with percussion techniques thought placing his ear on her chest would let him hear better o because of decorum he rolled up a paper into a cylinder which increased his ability to hear her heartspends years interpreting sounds he can hear through the tube comes up with new vocabulary to describe the sounds ex murmur etc1819 writes his book that supports that explains normal and abnormal chest sounds encourages use of the cylinderwork gets lots of attention many students want to work with himalso lots of criticism goes back and revises his book in 1826 o shows that physicians were seeing usefulness of the tool and wants clarification and revised modelsdies soon after his revised edition however the stethoscope is refined and still in useimpact of the stethoscope o first diagnostic instrument to gain rapid international popularity o allows physicians in gain a better image of the inner living body through sound o diseases and abnormalities are identifiedLaryngoscopeInvented by British Benjamin BabingtonTubular tool that allowed the physician to see past the tongue down the throat th By early 20 century physicians started to use this as means to intibate the larynx OphthalmoscopeUsed to examine the interior of the eyeAllowed the operator to treat as well as diagnoseParticular specialties start to form around this instrument o empowers the physician they can not only see but operate on the eyethe microscope an example of incremental change constantly improving Shift from individual tools to machines in the hospitalLarge machines that are too expensive cumbersome for doctors to ownRequire special training start of specialists who are experts in working with specific machines
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