Today’s healthcare is full of technology that would seem like science fiction to our grandparents. But this is far from true in every area: some remain woefully neglected by innovation. Hop in a time machine back to ancient Egypt and you would find recognisable examples of the absorbent pads and catheters which are still a mainstay in the management of incontinence today. The earliest known reference to an absorbent pad dates from 4th-century Egypt: the female scientist Hypatia is recorded as having thrown her menstrual rag at a student to ward off his infatuation with her. The pad remained a homemade “product” for many centuries until the 19th century, when manufactured versions of reuseable “antiseptic cotton for absorbing discharges” could be purchased from pharmacies. Disposable pads, first produced by Kotex in 1920, were in widespread use by the late 1930s. Since then, the only major innovation in their design has been the introduction of super absorbent polymers in the 1980s, which have dramatically improved absorbency. Read more.
Source: The Conversation, July 30, 2018