|CardioMEMS wireless heart sensor compared to a dime. (Photo credit: IntelFreePress).|
As late as 1911, Augustus Waller, who was the pioneer of electrocardiography, said, “I do not imagine that electrocardiography is likely to find any very extensive use in the hospital. It can at most be of rare and occasional use to afford a record of some rare anomaly of cardiac action.”While Waller struggled with his imagination, a Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven developed the first practical EKG device that was based on his newly invented string galvanometer.
In 1906, unknown to Waller, Einthoven demonstrated clinical usefulness of the electrocardiograph (EKG). In 1924 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his invention.
Over the last 100 years EKG has become one of the most common techniques for heart monitoring and diagnostics. Since then, many generations of inventors improved upon the original idea, with micro-electronics, networking, and cloud computing being the latest additions to Einthhoven's breakthrough. Most likely, innovation in this area will continue well into the 21st century.
tags: invention, innovation, detection, healthcare, medicine, control