Medical Devices that Changed the Course of History


Medical innovations are happening constantly. For proof, you only need to think back to what medicine was like when you were a kid. Even better, what about when your parents were children? Your grandparents? Thinking back like this really helps highlight how far the medical industry has come in the past few years.

One of the most tangible ways to see this progression is by looking at the tools we use every day. In fact, a lot of the most influential medical devices in history are commonplace items now.

Our team has taken a step into the past to highlight several medical devices that changed the course of human history.

The Mercury Thermometer

Believe it or not, the mercury thermometer was once cutting-edge medical technology. When Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (sound familiar?) invented the first reliable thermometer in 1714, it beckoned in a new age of temperature precision. This new invention would eventually be replaced by different thermometers over the years, but it was a turning point in history.

Prosthetic Limbs

For as long as humans have been around, there has been a need for prosthetic limbs. Artificial limbs have been found in ancient human civilizations like Egypt and China. These devices had a few major breakthroughs throughout history, including the addition of hinges in the 1500s by Ambroise Paré and improved attachment methods by Pieter Verduyn in 1690.

Perhaps the most influential addition to this long history was the invention of a joined and flexible artificial leg by Benjamin Franklin Palmer in 1846. This set off a series of innovations that are still continuing to this day.

The Hypodermic Needle

This is an invention that we definitely take for granted, because before it existed people had to use objects like goose quills and animal bladders to inject fluids into a body. Thankfully, Francis Rynd created the hypodermic syringe in 1844 as a solution to this less-than-savory problem. Since then, the needle has undergone a few innovations, but it’s certainly made almost all areas of medicine much safer.


Many people forget that eyeglasses are medical devices. There’s a lot of debate about who created the first model for modern spectacles, but we do know that they became popular in the 14th century. Several years later, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals in the 1700s. Still, glasses as we think of them didn’t catch on until the 1920s. Before then, many people wore pince-nez, which balance on the bridge of the nose.

We’re proud to be contributing to a history of medical innovations every day. Medical devices impact our lives in more ways than we realize. In fact, it’s entirely possible that the next big invention of tomorrow will be something that future generations take for granted as a solution to a problem they never knew existed.

This is the passion that drives our team to create innovative medical devices. We can’t wait to see where the future brings us.

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