Medical equipment is designed to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions. These devices are usually designed with rigorous safety standards.
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See also the main articles: implant, artificial limbs, corrective lenses, cochlear implants, dental implants, prosthetics (ocular, facial)
There are several basic types:
- Diagnostic equipment includes medical imaging machines, used to aid in diagnosis. Examples are ultrasound and MRI machines, PET and CT scanners, and x-ray machines.
- Therapeutic equipment includes infusion pumps, medical lasers and LASIK surgical machines.
- Life support equipment is used maintain a patient's bodily function. These include medical ventilators, heart-lung machines, ECMO, and dialysis machines.
- Medical monitors allow medical staff to measure a patient's medical state. Monitors may measure patient vital signs and other parameters including ECG, EEG, blood pressure, and dissolved gases in the blood.
- Medical laboratory equipment automates or help analyze blood, urine and genes.
- Diagnostic Medical Equipment may also be used in the home for certain purposes, e.g. for the control of diabetes mellitus
A Biomedical equipment technician or BMET is a vital component of the healthcare delivery system. Employed primarily by hospitals, BMETs are the people responsible for maintaining a facility's medical equipment.
- C. 1280, spectacles
- 1540, artificial limb, by Ambroise Pare
- 1630, obstetric forceps, by Peter Chamberlen
- 1714, mercury thermometer, by Gabriel Fahrenheit
- 1775, bifocal lenses, by Benjamin Franklin
- 1792, ambulance, by Dominique Jean Larrey
- 1796, vaccination, by Edward Jenner
- 1816, stethoscope, by René Laennec
- 1817, dental plate, by Anthony Plantson
- 1853, hypodermic syringe, by Alexander Wood
- 1887, contact lens, by Adolf Fick
- 1895, X-ray, by Wilhelm Röntgen
- 1903, electrocardiograph, by Willem Einthoven
- 1956, endoscope, by Basil Hirschowitz
- 1957, artificial pacemaker, by C. Walton Lillehei and Earl Bakken
- 1973, CT (CAT) scan, by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack
- 1979, ultrasound scan, by Ian Donald
- 1982, artificial heart, by Robert Jarvik
- Running Press Cyclopedia, second edition
Notable medical equipment companies