Ultrasound history timeline

Ultrasound history timeline

~500 BC

Pythagoras described the mathematical properties of stringed instruments marking the beinning of the science of acoustics.


Bat's navigation by 'inaudible sound', also known as echolocation, was documented by Lazzaro Spallanzani.


The Piezoelectric effect was discovered by Jacques and Pierre Curie.


The Titanic sank, urging a drive to develop technology to discover underwater icebergs.


First attempts to detect submarines using ultrasound by Paul Langevin.


Neurologist Karl Dussik uses ultrasound for the first time to find brain tumours.


Inge Edler and Helmut Hertz produced the first ultrasound images of the heart in Lund, Sweden.


An electronic patient simulator called Jenny is produced by PhD-candidate and physician Alf Brubakk and technologist Rune Aslid, with support from Professor Jens Glad Balchen (NTNU).


The start of the development of PEDOF (Pulsed Echo Doppler Flowmeter). This is part of Bjørn Angelsen's PhD at teh Department for Technical Cybernetics. PEDOF measures the speed of the bloodstream in the heart and in larger bloodvessels.


Use of Bernoulli-equation to estimate the fall in pressure over a stenosed valve from the speed in the stenosis using experimental equipment.


SINTEF awarded a loan of NOK 120 000 to build 10 prototypes of PEDOF to use in the clinic. 


  • PEDOF prototype produced. 
  • 5 students hired to assemble PEDOF, which were sold for about NOK 30 000 per instrument.
  • Liv Hatle started using PEDOF to examine hearts. 
  • Doppler-ultrasound developed by Bjørn Angelsen. 


Vingmed AS got involved.


PEDOF used to measure arterial bloodstream in foetuses by Sturla Eik-Nes.


DAISY produced.


PEDOF is replaced by ALFRED.


Book: "Doppler Ultrasound in Cardiology – Physical Principles and Clinical Applications", Lea&Febiger, Philadelphia, by Bjørn Angelsen and Liv Hatle.


First version of CFM-700 exhibited at the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Atlanta. 


First blood transfusion to a foetus in the womb - assisted by ultrasound. (Video


  • CFM-750 introduced.
  • Founding of the National Centre for Foetal Medicine (Nasjonalt senter for fostermedisin - NSFM)


World's first 3D-ultrasound lab is opened at St. Olavs Hospital, financed by GE Vingmed.


3D ultrasound for brain tumours developed - a cooperation between neurosurgeon Geirmund Unsgård at St. Olavs Hospital and technologists at NTNU.


NSFM became a WHO centre.


GE Vingmed bought by GE Healthcare.


VScan launched (pocket-sized ultrasound) - one of the most important inventions of the year, according to Time Magazine.


The SFI Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions (CIUS) founded

Spotlight on Norwegian ultrasound industry

Spotlight on Norwegian ultrasound industry

Our partner. Exact Therapeutics AS, together with Innovation Norway, Norway Health Tech and Investinor AS, is publishing a series on "The global reach of Norwegian ultrasound innovation".

The stories are published at The Explorer

If you have a story to share, please contact Masha Strømme: Masha@exact-tx.com.

From cold icebergs to warm hearts - museum exhibition

From cold icebergs to warm hearts - museum exhibition

The Medical Museum at NTNU/St. Olavs hospital had an exhibition on the history of the ultrasound research in Trondheim in 2014-2015.

A digital version of the exhibition can be viewed here (in Norwegian):

Fra kalde isfjell til varme hjerter

Illustration of iceberg and ship
Photo: iStockPhoto