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Five Hall of Fame Technologies

Drum Roll, Please
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Hall of Fame recently added five key innovations to its honor roll of technologies that have saved and improved lives over the past century. The five additions to the original list of 26 include:
  • The contact lens
  • Flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • The cochlear implant and stimulators
  • The pulse oximeter
  • The inner ear canal digital hearing aid
Contact lenses
The contact lens has proven critical for tens of millions of people around the globe. The first contact was developed in the 1930s, but it was an expensive, uncomfortable glass device.
Flow cytometer and cell sorter
Every major research institute and pharmaceutical company uses these devices. This technology has changed the way the immune system and cancer is studied, and is the backbone of systems biology research. Flow cytometry and cell sorting has emerged as the analytical method of choice for monitoring blood diseases ranging from leukemia to HIV. 
Cochlear implants and stimulators
Cochlear implants have given hearing to numerous people with severe and profound deafness, and there are still more that will benefit from the technology. Beneficiaries of cochlear implants can participate normally in all aspects of life.
Pulse oximetry
The pulse oximeter allows for a non-invasive method of measuring the patient"s level of oxygenation, which is critical for proper anesthetic monitoring. The number of deaths from anesthesia-related complications have been reduced by the thousands.
Digital hearing Aid
This device is small enough to be unnoticed, but still help millions of people talk with friends and enjoy music and television. The digital version of hearing aids was introduced in the 1980s.
American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
All five of these Hall of Fame devices represent significant engineering achievements and have improved countless lives. AIMBE"s original 26 Hall of Fame technologies include everything from the X-ray to artificial joint replacements. AIMBE is based in Washington DC, and more information about its Hall of Fame can be found at

By Rita Henry
Get Biomedical Engineering Jobs, Contributing Editor

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