After five years of neck-down paralysis, Ian Burkhart can use his right arm again. A brain-implanted microchip detects the electrical activity of his thoughts and sends these signals to a sleeve on his forearm that stimulates his muscles. After the success of his surgery and therapy, on April 13 Ohio State University researchers published their results in the journal Nature.
From pouring water into a cup to playing guitar hero, Burkhart’s hand doesn’t just move — it functions.
This could potentially be the biggest health care breakthrough of 2016. Such a breakthrough doesn’t happen overnight, though. It’s the culmination of decades of research across many fields, from biology to computer science and engineering. Without the work of countless scientists throughout the past years, this would not have happened.
To see just how medical science has progressed throughout history, HealthGrove looked at the major health breakthrough the year you were born, specifically focusing on 1945 to 2000. The HealthGrove analysts looked at information on the Nobel Prizes in physiology and medicine as well as the history of vaccine development and general medical advancements over time.