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ECG History

Manufacturers have reached a point with medical equipment technology, especially when looking at ECG history, where there is not much difference between current versions and older machines. It could be argued that there is no major difference between new medical equipment and gently used medical equipment that is a few years older. Medical practices looking to save money and provide more patient services would be wise to purchase used medical equipment, such as ECG machines, that function just as well as brand new machines.

ECG History

The ECG, or electrocardiogram, was first developed in the late 19th century. Those initial machines required patients to immerse their limbs in a saline solution and tiny changes of electrical current were detected by galvanometer. As technology developed, ECG became standard medical equipment in Western medicine. When ECG lost the tubs full of liquid and replaced them with small electrical nodes that could attach to the skin, the use of ECG as a diagnostic tool became common. However, ECG history does not end there. As computers got smaller and faster, ECG machines that could interpret data became part of the standard set of diagnostic used medical equipment.

Anyone interested in ECG history should be aware of Nobel Prize in Medicine winner Willem Einthoven. He won the award for defining the various deflections that allow medical professionals to detect different ailments using ECG tests. For his work developing ECG as a valuable diagnostic tool, Einthoven was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924. Einthoven built on the work of Augustus Waller. Waller created the first ECG-like apparatus that allowed for a patient's heart to be monitored in real-time. The turning point in ECG history is when Einthoven defined how the outputs could be read and interpreted in a medically useful way. It seems odd to say now, but Waller did not understand the significance of his apparatus as a diagnostic tool. Today, ECG machines are ubiquitous in Western clinics, doctor's offices, and hospitals.

Medical equipment manufacturers have come a long way with ECG machines. The modern ECG history shows rapid technological advancement from salt solution tanks to electrodes; from confusing line graphs to interpretive software and beyond. Currently, ECG technology is very highly perfected. There is little difference between new medical equipment and used medical equipment today. If you are looking to save money on medical equipment, do not buy it new.


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