History of Medical Imaging on Display at Siemens MedMuseum

May 23, 2014

The MedMuseum, devoted to the history of medical technology, held its grand opening today in Erlangen, Germany.

It started with severe tooth pain in 1844. Werner Siemens had developed and experimented with a voltage conductor. His brother, Friedrich, was suffering from a severe toothache and the brothers decided to test if the alternating current generated by the conductor would reduce or eliminate the pain if run through the root of the tooth. The relief didn’t last long, but Werner had made his first attempt at a medical application and the early basis of the company we now know as Siemens was underway.

Today, in Erlangen, Germany, Siemens is holding the grand opening of the Siemens MedMuseum, which provides the history and overview of the development of medical technology. More specifically, the museum showcases Siemens technology, but with more than 160 years of history, Siemens has earned its status in medical technology, so a museum dedicated to the tech giant can still be an instructive experience.  [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"24677","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_9847323085930","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"2165","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 259px; width: 349px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"Early era of X-ray technology. Photo courtesy of Siemens AG, Munich/Berlin.","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Visitors can see technology ranging from X-ray technology to laboratory diagnostics. Important innovations and their inventors are demonstrated as examples, showcasing the history of medical technology in multimedia format from the field’s inception to the present day, according to a release. Siemens first X-ray, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems are on display, along with background information and explanations of how the technologies work.

Much of the museum is dedicated to the history of medical technology. The oldest piece on exhibit from 1886 is the Reiniger’s plunge battery, an electrostimulation device. “Use of X-rays at the turn of the 20th century laid the groundwork for medical imaging,” the release said. The sacrifices made by the first users of X-ray technology, who were unaware of the risks of their work is also presented at the museum.

The museum resides in a building once occupied by a machine shop dated back to 1893 and is just a few hundred meters from the current headquarters of medical technology at Siemens.