From Overseas to Outer Space

In 1974, NIHON KOHDEN researcher Takuo Aoyagi developed the principle of pulse oximetry.

The next year, NIHON KOHDEN introduced the world's first ear oximeter, OLV-5100, which used pulse oximetry to noninvasively measure saturated blood oxygen without the need to sample blood. All pulse oximeters today are based on Dr. Aoyagi's original principle of pulse oximetry.

The Oil Crisis of 1973 caused the most serious depression in Japan's history and NIHON KOHDEN was also confronted with the most serious business crisis in its own history. The company pulled together and as a result business revenues recovered in three years. After that, recession and severe business conditions for medical electronic equipment continued but NIHON KOHDEN entered its second golden era of rapid growth.

In 1973, our ECG-2201 was described in the British Journal of Hospital Medicine as one of nine world famous portable electrocardiographs. Over 10,000 of these ECGs were sold and it became one of our longest selling products.
In 1979, NIHON KOHDEN established its first overseas subsidiary, NIHON KOHDEN America.

In the same year, NIHON KOHDEN was commissioned by NASDA (National Space Development Agency of Japan) to develop instruments for Japan's first contribution to experiments onboard the US space shuttle.


1970Compact EEG EEG-7109/7113 Electroencephalographs

Compact EEG EEG-7109/7113 Electroencephalographs

These were the world's first compact and lightweight EEGs, making them very easy to transport.

1977Cardiofax ECG-5201 Electrocardiograph

Cardiofax ECG-5201 Electrocardiograph

This was Japan's first 1 channel PFB (position feedback) writing ECG. It also used dry cell batteries which had the world's longest battery life.

1979Microprocessor controlled EEG-4200 Electroencephalograph

Microprocessor controlled EEG-4200 Electroencephalograph

This was the world's first microprocessor controlled EEG with CRT screen. Japan's first EEG scanner, the MCE-1100 (right), was introduced in the same year.