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The Electrocardiograph: A Brief History

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The electrocardiograph (ECG) has been an important part of the medical field for generations. This machine allows physicians to assess the condition and performance of their patients’ hearts. But where did it get its start and how did it become the machine we know of today?

Origins of the Electrocardiograph

Researchers of the 1800s understood that the heart produces electrical currents. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that physiologist, Augustus Desire Waller, accurately recorded the first electrocardiogram. Even more noteworthy was physiologist Willem Einthoven, who invented the string galvanometer in the early 20th century. This model proved to be the first ever used in the medical field.

Continued Developments

Throughout the early 1900s, individuals continued to revise the galvanometer's portability and function (the first models were over 500lbs!). Notable contributors included Dr. Frank N. Wilson, Alfred Cohn, Taro Takemi, and Rudolph Burger. Certainly, each of these men advanced the ECG machine into the 12-Lead version we use today.

The ECG Machine In Present Day

Today, the electrocardiograph can be found in almost every medical setting in the country. It's crucial to the proper diagnosis and treatment of a variety of heart conditions. Furthermore, technological improvements continue to improve this machine so that physicians across the world can provide the best care for their patients. Here at Booth Medical Equipment, we carry a wide inventory of new and used electrocardiograph machines to best accommodate your hospital or clinical needs. Visit us online to explore our selection of top-quality brands!

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