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A Brief History Of The Development Of Medical Endoscopy

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Update time : 2023-11-01 15:18:00
Medical endoscopes, vital in clinical settings, facilitate diagnostics and treatments through natural or surgical pathways. Widely used in surgery, urology, gastroenterology, and respiratory care, they've evolved through four stages: Rigid Endoscope Era - Semi-Flexible Endoscope Era - Fiber Endoscope Era - Modern Endoscope Era.
1. Rigid endoscope (1806~1932)
Early stage of open rigid tube endoscopy In 1804, Bozzini in Frankfurt, Germany first boldly proposed the idea of an endoscope, and in 1806 he created an instrument with a candle as the light source, which consisted of a vase-shaped light source, candles and a series of The lens used to observe the internal structure of the bladder and rectum of animals is called a light conductor (Lichtleiter or Light Conductor). Although it has not been used in humans, Bozzini is still known as the inventor of the first endoscope.
In 1879, Berlin urologist Nietzsche made the first endoscope with an optical system (i.e. cystoscope). The front end contained a prism, which used electric current to superheat and glow a platinum wire ring and used it as a light source. The endoscope For use only in the urinary system. The endoscope could obtain clearer images, and Nietzsche also used it to take photographs.
Since the rigid endoscopes of this period had obvious flaws and were prone to perforation, lenses were needed to focus the light to increase brightness due to insufficient illumination. Burn complications were unavoidable, causing pain and fear. With the rapid development, clinicians and scientists have brought the technology of this examination tool to a newer level through continuous exploration.
2. Semi-flexible endoscope (1932~1957)
In 1932, the first truly semi-flexible endoscope appeared. This semi-flexible gastroscope was developed by Schindler in cooperation with the instrument manufacturer Wolf starting in 1928, and was named Wolf. -Schindler type gastroscope is characterized by the flexibility of the front end and the ability to enter some curved structures. This gastroscope became the standard product in the field of gastroscopy for more than 20 years.
Although Schindler's gastroscope has achieved great success, this product still has two well-known weaknesses: first, the incandescent lamp is a hot light source, which is very unfriendly for human examination; second, this semi-flexible endoscopic Although the experience of using a mirror is better than that of a rigid endoscope, to be honest, the benefits are still limited.
It was not until 1952 that a historic light appeared in the development of endoscopy. French scientists Fourestier, Gladu and Valmiere created a cold light source fiberglass lighting device, which improved the safety of laparoscopy and eliminated the risk of intra-abdominal burns and electrical failures caused by internal light sources, laying the foundation for the subsequent application of flexible fiber instruments. .
3. Fiber endoscopy (after 1957)
In 1967, Japan's Meita Company first adopted the technology of externally connected strong cold light source to the guide beam, which fundamentally improved the illumination of endoscopes. Because the optical fiber of the fiber endoscope is made of tens of thousands of flint glass fibers with total reflection characteristics, it integrates the functions of light guide and image guide. The use of light-guiding glass fiber minimizes the loss of light transmission and improves the brightness and clarity of the field of view. The optical fiber is extremely thin and soft, about 1/10 of a hair. The endoscope made of it is thin and soft, which greatly reduces the pain of the patient and reduces the blind area for observation. In addition, by using the "cold processing" technology of the external light source of the guide beam, the brightness of the observation field of view is also significantly enhanced. In short, the use of glass fiber and cold light source is the characteristic of fiber endoscope. This innovation has unprecedentedly improved the softness of the lens body, the brightness of the field of view, and the clarity of the image. Therefore, it can be said that this is the endoscopy A major reform in the history of mirror development.

4.Electronic Endoscopes (After 1983)
In 1983, Welch Allyn introduced electronic endoscopes, replacing fiber bundles with miniature image sensors. High resolution, durability, and advanced features, including data storage and multi-viewing capabilities, revolutionized diagnostics and minimally invasive treatments.

5. Rapidly developing endoscopic equipment
At present, endoscopy is widely used in clinical examination, disease diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment in different departments and different diseases. Compared with traditional open surgery, minimally invasive surgery has many advantages such as low pain, small incision, less bleeding, low risk of infection, fast recovery, fast surgery, short hospitalization time, and fewer postoperative complications. It is deeply loved by patients, doctors, Favored by hospitals and medical insurance. With the development of minimally invasive surgery, new endoscopic products are constantly being introduced. At present, a variety of new electronic endoscopes such as capsule endoscopes, ultrasound endoscopes, disposable endoscopes, and wireless endoscopes have been derived to meet the needs of Various clinical needs. High image quality, multi-function, intelligence and consumables are the future development trends.
The current development of endoscopy is based on the current mature technology platform, adding new clinical needs and improving accurate diagnosis technology. Such as 4K technology required for high image quality, multi-functional ultrasound, CT, laser technology, 3D, fluorescence technology, Al-assisted diagnosis technology required for intelligence, etc.; wireless endoscopes that are convenient for operating rooms to improve the convenience of endoscopic examinations and comfortable capsule endoscopes, disposable endoscopes that reduce the risk of cross-infection, etc.
Through this, we can understand the development history of medical endoscopes. From rigid endoscopes to fiber endoscopes, from microscopes to electronic microscopes, the shape and structure of endoscopes have undergone tremendous changes, and their image quality has also improved with product iterations. Steady improvement.
6. The future of medical endoscopy
In the future, as medical professionals, some endoscopes will gradually become consumables. How will we manage them? How do we manage more intelligent endoscopes? How to achieve iterative innovation in endoscopy through the combination of medicine, engineering and clinical practice? These are all aspects we need to consider. The development of endoscopy is based on the current mature technology platform, adding new clinical needs and improving accurate diagnosis technology. Moreover, our medical industry, clinical and domestic endoscopy companies need to empower each other in the development of endoscopy, so that technologies can make breakthroughs through mutual empowerment and practice, and then let new technologies better serve hospitals.
Among them, endoscopic surgical robots are undoubtedly one of the most technologically advanced medical devices in recent years.
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