I'm very critical of the concept of progress.
But Dr. Bob, one of my favorite bloggers, has provided a fascinating, and not overly technical, look at progress in one medical area -- treatment of kidney stones. New techologies have made treatment of these very painful cyrstals much less intrustive and therefore less risky.
Dr. Bob explains it all for you. I'm not certain the new technology is cheaper, because the equipment involved seems very specialized.