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In 1971, a patient with suspected left frontal lobe tumor underwent the first clinical CT scan. The prototype scanner was developed by Godfrey Hounsfield.1 Almost 10 years earlier, Allan Cormack had independently demonstrated that multiple measurements of radiographic attenuation could be reconstructed to form an image of the target tissue. While both Hounsfield and Cormack shared the Nobel Prize Physics and Medicine in 1979 for the discovery of the CT scan, Hounsfield and Cormack never met and furthermore Hounsfield was apparently not familiar with Cormack’s work.1 It is tempting to speculate whether earlier knowledge sharing and collaboration between the scientists would have accelerated the development of this revolutionary technology.
Timely diffusion of medical knowledge has dramatically improved over recent decades and likely itself contributes to the pace at which advances are being made. Estimates suggest that the doubling time of medical knowledge in …
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Contributors all authors contributed.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.