Medical Technology History

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Year Event
300BC Erasistratus and Herophalics start to perform autopsies
100BC Ts’ai Lun invented paper
600AD The first, still remaining, hospital– the Hotel Dieu – was established in Paris.
840 Al-Khwaruznu founded the Arabic system of numbers and arthmetric
900 Rhazes described the use of plaster of paris splints
1100s The first medical schools were established in Europe.
1266Peregrinus magnetic ore and labeled the ends north and south
1300s The Black Death, a form of bubonic plague kills more than 25% of the European population.
1317Armati introduced spectacles
1440Johaness Gutenberg invented the printing press
1490Leonardo da Venci invented the elevator
1503The first hospital was established in the West – in Santo Domingo, Hispaniola(now the Dominican Republic)
1578William Harvey describes blood circulation in the human body, note that some say 1615
1585Heironymus Fabricius described valves in veins
1590Compound microscope introduced by Janssens
1612Medical thermometer demonstrated by Sanctorius
1618Gilbert distinguished between electricity and magnetism also conductor and insulators
1640Talbor introduced quinine to control fevers
1642Pascal invented the mechanical calculator for addition and subtraction
1643 Torricelli invented the barometer
1660The lighted microscope demonstrated by van Leeuwenhock
1662Boyles law, the volume of air is inversely proportional to the pressure applied
1684Isaac Newton published the laws of motion and gravity
1714Mill patented the typewriter
1721Increase Mather experiments with inoculations to control small pox
1724The Fahrenhiet temperature scale was introduced
1733Steven Hales measures direct blood pressure in a horse
1738Daniel Bernoulli reported the relationship between flow and pressure in fluids
1742Anders Celsius introduced the temperature scale bearing his name
1745Discovery of the electric condenser called the Leyden jar
1745de Vucanson used punched paper tape to control the pattern on a loom
1751 The first hospital in the US – Pennsylvania Hospital – opened in Philadelphia.
1751Ben Franklin publishes “Experiments and Observations on Electricity”
1761Giovanni Morgagni publishes a work on pathology
1765 The first medical school was established in the US.
1765Watt demonstrated the modern steam engine
1771New York Hospital opened
1774Joseph Priestly isolates oxygen from air
1785Joseph Bramhe patents the pump handle for draft beer
1793Eli Whitney introduced the cotton gin and the concept of standardized parts
1796The first HMO started as the Boston Dispensary, the cost was $10.00 per year per family.
1796Jenner discovered the immunological principle now known as vaccination
1798Davy discovered the analgesic effect of nitrous oxide
1800Alessandro Volta discovers the galvanic cell
1800Bichat identified organs by their different types of tissue, founding histology
1816 French physician Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope, some say 1819
1816Physic introduced sutures that were absorbed into the wound
1818Micheal Farady discovered the analgesic effects of ether
1818Oersted discovered a magnetic field around a wire carrying an electric current
1827Ohm's Law introduced
1830Niepce and Danuerre invented photography
1830Henry and Faraday independently discovered electromagnetic induction
1831Faraday produced a continuous current by rotating a metal disk in a magnetic field
1832Gauss introduced units of measurement for magnetism
1832Saxton developed the rotating coil, alternating current generator
1840Morse patented the telegraph
1840Baltimore College of Dental Surgery founded
1842 The first use of ether (by American surgeon Crawford Long ) as a partial anesthetic to mask pain during dental surgery.
1842The Doppler effect documented by Chritian Doppler
1843Wheatstone Bridge introduced by Sir Charles Wheatstone
1843Joule quantitated the relationship between heat and mechanical work
1844Nitrous Oxide introduced for clinical use, was discovered in 1798
1844Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber
1845Buys Ballot proved the Doppler effect of sound
1845Dentist Horace Wells used nitrous oxide for a tooth extraction
1845Hollow needle invented by Irish physician Francis Rynd
1845Kirchhoff introduced the laws of electric circuits
1846Ether used in abdominal surgery by Morton and Warren at MGH
1846Howe patented the sewing machine
1847Chloroform used by Simpson for surgery and OB
1847American Medical Association formed
1847Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig used a kymograph to record a blood pressure
1848Lord Kelvin proposed the absolute temperature scale
1850Opthalmoscope introduced by Hermann Von Helmholtz
1851Mechanical refrigeration patented
1853The hypodermic syringe introduced by Pravaz and Wood
1854 Florence Nightingale and her small team of nurses brought nursing care into prominence during the Crimean War in Turkey.
1856Bernard introduced the use of curare to block neuromuscular signeal
1857Louis Pastuer demonstrated that organisms could be killed by heat
1858Lord Kelvin introduced the moving vane galvanometer
1859Darwin proposed the theory of evolution through natural selection
1859Lenoir invented the internal combustion engine
1861Marcey and Chauveau performed a cardiac catherization on a horse
1866First ambulance service started
1867Locking forceps, to clamp blood vessels, were introduced by Spenser Wells
1867Nobel developed dynamite
1869Hyatt invented celluloid the first synthetic plastic
1870The Fick method of determining cardiac output was introduced
1870Lister showed that surgical infections can be caused by airborne organisms and those organisms can be killed with the use of carbolic acid
1873The first nursing school was established in the US
1875Caton recorded an EEG of a rabbit using the galvanometer developed by Kelvin
1875Chloral hydrate introduced as an injectable anesthetic agent
1876 The sphygmomanometer was invented.
1876Adolphus Busch introduces bottled beer
1876Alexander Bell patented the telephone
1875The telephone was invented by Bell
1877Pastuer vaccinated sheep for anthrax
1879Edison invents the electric light
1880von Anrep demonstrated the local anesthetic effects for cocaine
1880d’Arsonval introduced the moving coil galvanometer
1880Thomas Edison invented the filament electric light
1880Ringer’s Solutions demonstrated
1881American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton
1981The International Congress of Electricians standardized measurements
1886Punch cards for tabulating data introduced by Hollerith
1886Steam sterilization introduced by von Bergmann
1887Nikola Tesla develops the electric motor
1887Heinrich Hertz discovered electromagnetic radiation
1887Michelson and Morley measured the speed of light
1888Carbon brushes introduced for electric motors, by vanDepoele
1889Eastman started the production of photographic film
1890First electrocution of a convict at Auburn prison in NY, William Kemmler
1890Halsted and Bloodworth introduced the use of rubber gloves for surgery
1892General Electric formed
1895X-rays discovered by Willem Roentgen
1895Hershey’s introduces the chocolate bar
1896 Harvard Apparatus started producing medical devices for physician training in the US.
1896Marconi experiments with wireless transmissions
1896Riva-Rocca, Hill and Barnard independently develop the “cuff’ for indirect measurement of blood pressures
1899 The first commercial production of aspirin.
1899 The Ford Motor company organized
1899Pervost and Battelli created and arrested V Fib in mammals using both AC and DC currents
1901Trans-Atlantic radio
1901Blood typing developed
1903EKG demonstrated by Einthoven
1903First powered flight by the Wright brothers
1904Fleming discovered the rectifing vacuum tube
1904Harvey Hubbell patents the electrical plug and outlet
1905Nikolai Korotkoff described the use of sounds in determining blood pressure
1906Lee DeForest invented the triode vacuum tube
1910Montgomery Ward offered employees a health insurance plan
1910Sickle Cell anemia described
1910Richard Cabot studies 1,000 autopsies and finds that 40% had the wrong cause of death
1910Morgan established that chromosomes as the carriers of heredity
1912DeForest and Longwood developed the first vacuum tube amplifier
1912The first recorded death due to radiation poisoning, Clarance Daley who worked for Thomas Edison.
1914DeForest and Armstrong developed continuous oscillators, working independently
1914Electric stop lights installed in Cleveland Ohio
1915Midmark Corp. opened for business
1916 Polio epidemic in US 6,000 die, 27,000 paralyzed
1916Heparin discovered by Mclean and Howell
1918500,000 die in US in the Flu epidemic
1920KDKA, Pittsburgh), goes on the air as the first radio station
1922the US Army open a central repair depot for medical devices in St. Louis
1922Banting discovered insulin
1923The first successful cardiac valve surgery, Brigham Hospital in Boston
1925Colposcope invented by Hinselmann in Germany
1926The concept of homeostasis in published by Walter Cannon
1926DeForest developed a method of recording sound onto a the film of a motion picture
1927Sanborn Instruments of Cambridge MA introduces the “portable” ECG recorder
1927The infant formula Simulac developed at the Boston Floating Hospital for Children
1927Bloodless surgery introduced by Dr. Cushing and W. T. Bovie at Huntington Hospital in Boston, commonly called electrosurgery. Some say 1926
1928Iron lung developed in Boston by Philip Drinker and Louis Shaw
1928Penicillin discovered by Alexander Fleming
1928Harold Edgerton develops the strobe light
1928Farnsworth demonstrated the all electric television system
1929Berger recorded the first human EEG signals
1929First Blue Cross plan offered for municipal employees in Dallas Texas
1929Bell Labs demonstrated the color televsion
1933Cyclopropane introduced
1934Ruska invented the electron microscope
1935Grass Instrument founded, EEG
1935Nylon invented by Wallace Carothers at DuPont
1938Passage of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act initiated the requirement that all drugs be approved by the FDA prior to being marketed in the US.
1938First expermintal FM radio braodcasts
1938Rh factor in blood discovered by Levine and Stetson
1939Pan-Am introduces scheduled flights between the US and Europe
1939Armstrong developed FM radio transmissions
1939Muller developed DDT
1940Rh factor in blood discovered by Landsteiner
1942First controlled nuclear reaction at University of Chicago
1943First biomedical repair training program open at Army repair depot, a 3 month program
1943Dirks invented the magnetic drum memory
1944Willem Kolff demonstrated and artificial kidney using sausage skins
1944First catheterization of the heart chambers and lung, Brigham Hospital, Boston
1946ENIAC computer introduced
1946Dunlee X-Ray tube company founded
1946CDC founded in Georgia
1946The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission started
1946RCA starts to mass produce television sets
1947Hill-Burton Act passed supporting hospital construction in the US
1947First artificial kidney machine perfected, Brigham Hospital, Boston
1948 Brattain and Bardeen working under William Shockley at Bell Labs co-discovered the physical phenomenon that led to the development of the transistor.
1948First cable TV network
1948Polaroid introduces the “instant” camera
1948World Health Organization founded
1949Medtronic Founded
1949Shorkley discovered the junction trnsistor
1950Vidicon developed allowing for fluoroscopic images without a luminesense screen.
1950External cardiac pacing demonstrated by John Hopps at Univ. of Manitoba
1950First nuclear medicine application
1950Electronics for Medicine formed
1950Color television demonstrated
1951UNIVAC 1 computer released
1951 The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) – the predecessor to today’s JCAHO - was established.
1952The Apgar score for newborns developed by Virginia Apgar
1953First “open Heart” operation
1953First kidney transplant, between twin brothers, was done at Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in Boston
1953Electrodyne formed
1953PET scanner demonstrated by Gordon Brownwell at MIT/MGH
1953Microwave oven introduced
1954The rotating anode X-Ray tube introduced
1954 Watson and Crick received the Nobel Prize for their elucidation of the double helix structure of DNA.
1954The MASER was demonstrated by Gordon and Townes of Bell Labs, a precursor to the LASER
1954The computer language FORTRAN introduced by IBM
1955 Salk’s oral vaccine for poliomyelitis became generally available;
1955Zoll demonstrated ventricular pacing with thoracic electrodes
1956Zoll demonstrates defibrillation using AC
1956. Cournand, Richards, and Forssman shared a Nobel Prize for their contributions to

the advancement of cardiac catheterization. It was German, Werner Forssman who had passed a urological catheter from a vein in his right arm into his right atrium when he was a surgical intern in 1929 to first demonstrate the feasibility of this technique.

1956Heart-lung bypass technology received a significant boost with the development of the membrane oxygenator which allowed extracorporeal circulation of the blood for days or even weeks without toxicity or hemolysis.
1956Radioimmunoassey developed by Yalow and Berson
1956Ampex introduces the video tape recorder
1956Halothane introduced
1957 The Emerson “post-op” volume ventilator was introduced using a pressure cooker on a hot plate for humidifying the air stream and “choirboy” scrubbing pads as bacterial filters.
1957Sputnick goes into orbit
1957The fiber endoscope introduced by Hirschowitz
1957First atomic power plant open in Shippingport PA. shut down in 1982
1957Sabin polio vaccine came into use
1958Physician-engineer Forrest Bird introduced his Universal Medical Respirator, a little green box known far and wide as “The Bird”.
1958Gamma camera invented by Hal Anger
1958Greatbach introduces the implanted pacemaker
1958The IC is introduced by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments
1959The first monitored CCU was installed at Bethany Hospital in Missouri with Electrodyne Equipment
1959Xerox introduces the plain paper copier
1960The use of ultrasound to image internal organs became a commercial product
1960The first LASER was built by Maiman at Hughes Aircraft using a ruby
1960The “pill” was approved by the FDA for sale
1960The “Ball Valve” introduced for cardiac surgery
1960The Medtronic implantable pacer sells for $375.00
1960IBM introduces the 360 business computer
1961 The nation’s growing “Medical Technology Imperative” is given a boost by

President John F. Kennedy’s call for the US to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

1961Yuri Gagarin orbits the earth.
1961PhysioControl formed by Dr. Edmark
1961Zoll reported the successful use of an implanted pacemaker to treat A-V block
1962Severed arm successfully reattached at Mass General
1963Sanborn was sold to Hewlett Packard.
1963The DC Defibrillator, developed by Dr. Lown became commercially available, marketed by American Optical.
1963De Bakey uses an artificial heart during surgery
1963Touch tone dialing introduced
1964Creation of a federally-funded (National Heart Institute) Artificial Heart program

drew upon the strong technological capabilities of the nation’s aerospace contractors. Controversy about the relative promise of artificial organs and transplanted organs continues long after this funding was cut off in the 1980s.

1964Staewen and Tabatznik publish “Electrical shock hazards in electrocardography and other laboratory procedures”
1964The CO2 LASER was introduced
1964 Dr Michael De Bakey performed the first coronary artery bypass (CAB) operation
1964Medicare became law covering the medical expenses of retired and disabled
1964Computer program MUMPS developed
1964IBM introduces the System 360
1964Tape loops introduced to store ECG data for up to 60 seconds in an ICU setting
1964The US Surgeon General, Luther Terry, issued a report stating that smoking is hazardous to your health
1967Christian Barnard performed the first human whole-heart transplant in Capetown, South Africa, patient lived for 18 days.
1967The “explosion proof” patient monitor for the operating room was introduced into general hospitals by Electronics for Medicine.
1967 A new professional trade group, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) was founded.
1968 Dr. Denton Cooley implanted a short-lived, non-FDA-approved artificial heart.
1968The Puritan Bennett model MA-1 ventilator became commercially available.
1968Swan-Ganz catheter introduced
1968 The nation’s first investor-owned hospital was opened in Nashville by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).
1968Michael DeBakey develops the left ventricular bypass pump
1968An IABP developed by Arthur Kantrowitz went into commercial use sold by AVCO, base off of work by Dwight Harkin in 1958
1968The computer mouse was introduced
1969A four-university network of large computers, known as the ARPAnet was

created by the Department of Defense. This would later expand and morph into the Internet.

1969Electrodyne introduced the “segmented trace” scope a precursor to solid trace displays
1969First installation of the Meditech system at Cape Cod Hospital
1969ECRI publishes Health Devices
1969The “Pig Valve” introduced as a cardiac valve replacement
1969Man walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buss Aldrin, July 20
1970The first “Solid Trace” display scope introduced by Electrodyne, using

capacitance delay techniques, previously all display scopes were “bouncing ball”.

1971Fetal Monitors introduced into the general hospital market by Corometrics.
1971Intel introduces the first microprocessor
1971Texas Instruments releases the pocket calculator
1971Ralph Nader publishes an article in the March issue of the Ladies Home Journal on deaths in hospitals caused by electrical leakage.
1972 “Solid Trace” display using shift register technology introduced by Electrodyne which was bought by Becton Dickenson
1972NFPA requires isolated power systems in hospitals
1972Atari releases PONG the first video game
1972In December Apollo 17 the last moon landing took place
1973 The Williams-Steiger Act created OSHA.
1974CT first installed for clinical use
1974Ethrane introduced
1974Kellogg Foundations provides grants to Clinical Engineering shared service organizations
1974Spacelabs introduces the Alpha series of monitors
1975Altair 8800 personal computer introduced for $400.00
1975Gates and Allen introduce a BASIC computer
1975Jobs, Sculley and Wozniak launch the Apple PC
1976 The FDA’s Medical Device Amendments, (PL94-295) which extended the FDA’sjurisdiction to medical devices and created the Good Manufacturing Practices regulations .
1976Apple computer introduced
1977 The first in-vitro fertilization which resulted in the birth of Louise Brown in 1978

Three Mile Island nuclear accident

1980Forane Introduced
1980North Carolina Biomedical Association formed
1981DRG’s introduced
1981IBM comes out with its PC 5150
1982 US Counseling Services introduced “maintenance insurance” as a lower cost

alternative to manufacturer full service contracts. The cost is typically at least 20% less than a comparable manufacturer contract. Similar offerings by other insurance companies quickly follow. This concept will bring about significant changes in the medical equipment maintenance aftermarket.

1982Barney Clark lives for 4 months with an artificial heart
1982Commercial e-mail debuts
1983Cyclosporin the anti rejection drug was introduced allowing for more transplants
1983Dr Sam Maslak, of Acuson Corporation, developed the 128-channel computedsonography. transducer Rotating head transducers were replaced by this “phased array” system.
1983Cellular phone introduced
1983PET demonstrated by Dr. Henry Wagner
1983Technicare sold to Johnson & Johnson
1984The NMR, now called the MRI, introduced by Dr. Damadian of Fonar
1984Apple Computer releases the Macintosh computer
1985Laser angioplasty demonstrated
1985Irex sold to Johnson & Johnson
1985GE buys Technicare, (nuke medicine scanners)
1986Chernobyl accident occurred killing 31 at the time plus countless others from the release of radioactive material.
1986William Schroeder died on August 6 after 620 days with an artificial heart
1989The North American College of Clinical Engineering was formed became ACCE in 1991
1990Diassonics sold to GE
1991AOL dial up service
1992Desflurane introduced
1994The “Chunnel” between England and France was officially open to traffic
1994GE Medical purchases Marquette Medical Systems, note that Marquette purchased most of the GE monitoring technology when GE got out of that business in 1980.
1995Servoflurane introduced
1995Yahoo debuts as a search engine
1995Amazon becomes the on line book store
1997 HP/Agilent and ATL ultrasound sold to Philips
1998Multi slice CT introduced
1998Viagra introduced to market
1999The Blackberry is introduced
1999PET/CT introduced
2000Y2K proved to be a false alarm
2000Acuson sold to Siemens
2002B&K sold to Dornier MedTech
2008BMETWiki site was born on Jan 8th by Mr. Jeremy Compton
2009FMESA formed (Federation of Medical Equipment Support Associations). First Congress held in Nashville.
2010BMETWiki had a makeover and added new dropdown menus.

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