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A vital signs monitor or physiological monitor, is an electronic medical device that measures a patient's vital signs and displays the data so obtained, which may or may not be transmitted on a monitoring network. Physiological data are displayed continuously on a CRT or LCD screen as data channels along the time axis, They may be accompanied by numerical readouts of computed parameters on the original data, such as maximum, minimum and average values, pulse and respiratory frequencies, and so on.
In critical care units of hospitals, bedside units allow continuous monitoring of a patient, with medical staff being continuously informed of the changes in general condition of a patient. Some monitors can even warn of pending fatal cardiac conditions before visible signs are noticeable to clinical staff, such as atrial fibrillation or premature ventricular contraction (PVC).
In the Jan 1950, Himmelstein and Scheiner reported they began using an instrument they devised. They called it the “Cardiotachoscope” and found it useful during surgery. It featured the fundamental attributes that most monitoring systems would eventually have. These attributes include a CRT to view the ECG, a heart rate indicator, alarms for high and low heart rates, and a connection to a conventional electrocardiograph for printouts. In the 1960’s monitoring systems whose intended functions and configurations were surprisingly similar to more modern systems. The approach of having central monitors and bedside monitors was now common even from the early part of the decade. Vendors such as Burdick, Birtcher, Dallons, Air Shields, and Electrodyne offered a complete line of pacemakers, defibrillators, and physiologic monitoring systems (with a central) in the early 1960’s. In the 1970’s significant improvements in the presentation of a display waveforms and pictured information on a CRT. In the 1980’s arrhythmia analysis became available at the bedside. In early 2000, Internet connectivity became the newest edition to the physiological system. 
- GE Medical
- WELCH ALLYN PROTOCOL INC
- Zoll Medical
- 53NTO - WELCH ALLYN PROTOCOL INC
- Dash 3000 - GE
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- ↑ Femtosim Clinical Inc., "Fifty Years of Physiologic Monitors". November 2006. http://www.femtosimclinical.com/History%20of%20Physiologic%20Monitors.htm