Siemens Healthineers marks 125th anniversary of medical imaging breakthrough

The medical imaging process known now as X-ray technology was discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in Würzburg 125 years ago on 8 November 1895. Since then, X-rays have revolutionized medicine and become a part of everyday life in healthcare and many other fields.

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Siemens Healthineers is celebrating the anniversary with an event called the “Year of X-rays 2020.” Each month, the company will present a different aspect of X-ray technology on a website entitled “125 years of X-rays”.

Now a global technology giant, Siemens-Healthineers looks back at how, not long after Röntgen’s discovery, Siemens & Halske and Reiniger, Gebbert & Schall (RGS) began to focus on producing X-ray tubes and devices. Since then, Healthineers’ predecessor companies and the multi-national corporation itself have been developing and refining the technology to provide ever greater insight into the human body.

In a statement, a member of Siemens-Healthineers’ managing board, Christoph Zindel explained, “125 years ago saw the launch of the industrial use of X-ray technology which we have decisively shaped from the very beginning. We still embody this spirit of innovation today. Thanks to its strong technological base and deep clinical expertise, Siemens Healthineers is uniquely positioned to shape the digital transformation of healthcare today.”

X-ray technology continues to be widely used in Siemens Healthineers’ products, including in computer tomography and mammography, as well as classical X-rays. The company is innovating further by developing more image-based therapy concepts and minimally invasive procedures such as angiography systems and mobile C-arms.

The story of X-rays and Siemens-Healthineers is just one account of Germany’s many innovative contributions to medicine. A drive to invent has become a hallmark of the German healthcare industry which is reflected in innovative contributions such as the blood pressure monitor, aspirin, and more recently, the discovery leading to the development of a vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV). The country has long experience in taking new ideas from the concept stage to market. This characteristic has helped to make Germany a global leader in innovative healthcare technology today.

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