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Medicine has come a long way from the early 19th century, when the stethoscope was the most technologically advanced tool in a doctor’s bag. Advances in health-care technology have increased longevity, made once impossible surgeries possible, eradicated some diseases, changed the way doctors monitor and treat patients, and helped reduce the mountains of paperwork that burden the profession. “Medicine has always been information driven,” says Ira Brodsky, author of The History and Future of Medical Technology. “You had to manually collect and analyze this stuff until the computer age.”

In the following slides, we highlight just a few remarkable breakthroughs in medical technology, starting in the 1960s.

Photograph by Simone Casetta / Anzenberger/Redux

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