Visit us to delve into the history of medical technology
Numerous advances in medical technology are closely associated with Siemens, from the 1847 slide inductor for nerve treatment to X-ray technology and beyond, to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
On November 8, 1895, physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered a new kind of radiation, which he called “X-rays.” The technology fascinated scientists and the general public alike. Not long after the initial experiments, it became clear that X-rays also had effects on tissue. This brought both opportunities and risks. In 1896, the very next year after the discovery, medical researchers began thinking about possible ways to use X-rays in treatments. Today, radiation therapy is one of the most important methods used to fight cancer.
X-ray technology had a long way to go from the early X-ray labs to the standardized methods used in modern diagnostic rooms. The development of two methods unlocked a wealth of new possibilities in medical imaging: computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) visualize the inside of the body in ultrathin layers called slices.
Experiments with the medical use of ultrasound started in 1938, initially for therapeutic purposes only. It was not until 1950 that ultrasound also came into use as a diagnostic tool. Today, it is among the most common imaging methods used. The discovery of radioactive “tracers” brought nuclear medicine into medical imaging starting in 1938. Modern methods can be used to visualize even metabolic processes taking place on a tiny scale in the brain.
For over 100 years now, electric hearing aids have helped patients with hearing loss. The first hearing aids grew out of telephone technology. The first Siemens electric hearing aid, the Phonophor, was launched on the market in 1913. New technologies made the devices increasingly powerful and ever smaller over time.
As far back as antiquity, practitioners of “uroscopy” attempted to identify disease based on certain qualities in a patient’s urine. Today, modern laboratory diagnostics delivers fast and reliable information on the processes taking place in the patient’s body.
Medical researchers began experimenting with electricity to cure disease with “electric fire” over 250 years ago. Their activities laid the groundwork for treatment and diagnosis through electromedicine.