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Evolution of medical technology across time

Medical technology has the ability to improve health, extend life, and facilitate accessible healthcare. Through innovative devices and diagnostics, the industry benefits patients, healthcare workers, healthcare systems, and society at large. Businesses in the medical technology industry play a significant role in creating new jobs and stimulating the economy.

Since creating a tool to measure blood pressure, researchers have focused on getting precise readings because high blood pressure is one of the most important body cues that should not be disregarded because it can lead to a variety of health issues. Let's take a historical look at how the blood pressure monitor came to be.

Between 1st and 2nd Century (Common Era)

The first person to write on the human heart and assert that it is the source of body heat was the Roman physician Galen, who flourished in the first and second centuries (Common Era). His writings were translated, went on to become international bestsellers, and remained unchallenged for generations. One of his mistakes was thinking the heart only had two chambers when there are actually four.

Year 1500

Even if "firsthand" experience learning about the human body is becoming more and more common, references to prior works still take precedence over actual observations. Even the famous Leonardo Da Vinci was duped by it and designed a heart with just two chambers.

Year 1543

Andreas Vesalius composed "De Humani Corporis Fabrica," which was published the next year, after observing actual corpses. The heart's four chambers, rather than its two, are now recognized for the first time. But it's not quite over yet! The purpose of the heart was still unknown at the time.

Year 1628

English physician William Harvey published the first treatise on blood circulation in 1628. He concluded that the heart functions like a pump. It wasn't immediately obvious that blood was being circulated, but he quickly calculated that blood was not being "consumed" by the organs. The doctor concluded that blood must proceed through a cycle.

Year 1733

In the 1733 publication "Haema staticks" by Stephan Hales, the first measurement of what was then known as "the force of blood" is described. He used a water manometer to measure the blood pressure in the arteries of several animals.

Year 1817

In 1817, in order to take blood pressure, French physician René Laennec invented the stethoscope. Doctors are no longer required to press their ears against their patients' bodies! He developed a stethoscope-based auscultatory approach that distinguishes between systole and diastole pressures.

Year 1828

French physician Jean Poiseuille provided guidance on how to use a mercury manometer to measure blood pressure in his PhD thesis, "Recherches sur la force du Coeur aortique," from 1828. In order to determine blood pressure, Jean used the "Centimeters of Mercury" unit (cmHg), which is still used by medical experts today.

Year 1854

The first device to measure blood pressure externally in a non-intrusive way was the sphygmograph, which is formed from the Greek words for "write" and "pulse". In 1854, German scientist Karl von Vierordt created the first blood pressure cuff.

Year 1886

Using a mercury column, Riva-Rocci created the first non-invasive blood pressure monitor in 1886. However, the tiny 5 cm cuff on this device means that it can only determine systolic blood pressure by palpation, which is erroneous.

Year 1905

Nikolai Korotkov created the auscultatory method in 1905, which also uses a stethoscope and a Riva-Rocci instrument. For the first time, it is now able to assess both systolic and diastolic pressure.

Year 1908

Prof. Victor Pachon connected two cuffs to a single oscillometer in 1908 to measure the amplitude of oscillations between the arm and upper thigh, which started the current research on peripheral artery disease.

Year 1974

Modern techniques:

The first digital oscillometric device was presented in 1974 by Panasonic. These sphygmomanometers measure how much pressure blood applies to the cuff as it travels through a constricted artery. Blood pressure monitoring at home became popular in the 1980s. The first smartphone-connected blood pressure monitor debuted in 2011, enabling patients to effortlessly exchange information with their treating physician.


The aim behind the development of medical technology was to employ automation and computer technologies to manage a person's health and detect diseases. Wearable blood pressure monitors have made it feasible for anyone to quickly and accurately measure their blood pressure, thanks to advancements. A device called Doori Healthables has also made it simpler for people to monitor their blood pressure and body vitals, including oxygen levels, HR variability and heart rate by providing them with health tips to get in shape.

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