Willem Einthoven, the doctor behind the first electrocardiogram (ECG), is being celebrated by Google with an animated Doodle on what might have been his 159th birthday celebration. Willem Einthoven, who was granted the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his pioneering work in recording the heart’s electrical activity, would have praised his 159th birthday celebration today.
Who was William Einthoven?
William Einthoven was conceived on 21 May 1860 in Semarang on the island of Java (modern-day Indonesia), which was then part of the Dutch East Indies.
Following the passing of his dad, a doctor, in 1880, his mom moved the family back to Utrecht in the Netherlands.
Willem Einthoven started examining medication at the University of Utrecht in 1878, and earned his degree seven years after the fact before getting to be professor of physiology at the University of Leiden.
It had for quite some time been comprehended that the beating of the heart made electrical currents, yet without placing electrodes directly on the heart there was no chance to get of estimating the phenomenon.
At first, Willem Einthoven’s research at Leiden had predominantly been in the field of optics, yet in the most recent decade of the 19th century he started concentrating this cardiac electricity.
The string galvanometer
He made a noteworthy breakthrough in 1901 when he based on work by the Frenchman Clément Ader to create a new “string galvanometer”, a machine which utilized a long quartz-coated string to direct the electrical currents of the heart.
With the string working in tandem with carefully-positioned electromagnets, the galvanometer anticipated a picture of cardiovascular activity onto a photographic plate.
The early machine weighed 270kg, required five men to work and required water to cool the ground-breaking electromagnets.
Subjects were required to sit with the two arms and their left leg in salt water, setting up the three “leads” or angles of measurement which became known as Einthoven’s triangle.
Albeit awkward, the string galvanometer was significantly more sensitive and valuable than the capillary electrometer which had previously been utilized in electrocardiography.
Willem Einthoven’s influence spreads
It was received and progressed by his contemporaries, revolutionising the study of the activities of the heart, in spite of the fact that it wasn’t until after the First World War that smaller, more practical models were developed.
His laboratory in Leiden was as often as possible visited by researchers from over the globe, with the celebrated British cardiologist Thomas Lewis taking a string galvanometer back to London and pioneering its clinical use.
Willem Einthoven proceeded to devote years of research to the electrocardiogram, utilizing it to depict the highlights of different cardiovascular disorders.
In 1924, he was granted the Nobel Prize for Medicine “for his discovery of the mechanism of the ECG”.
Willem Einthoven changed his regard for the study of acoustics, especially sounds made by the heart, which to his invention of the string phonograph in 1921.
The doctor died on 29 September, 1927 at 67 years old, in Lieden. He had married his cousin Frederique Jeanne Louise de Vogel in 1886, and the couple had four kids together.