The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) History Center recently recognized with a Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing The First External Cardiac Pacemaker 1950 "an external electronic pacemaker-defibrillator with electrodes inside the patient, developed by the National Research Council, for the successful continuous pacemaking of a heart. This achievement led to pacemakers which have enhanced the lives of thousands and also helped to firmly establish the importance of electronic devices in medicine."
» View slides on the first external cardiac pacemaker
» View the TIC-STH 2009 Special Session Program
» View an article describing the milestone event
“There was no intent to sit down and develop a pacemaker. So often happens one piece of research spins off to something else.” These are Dr. Hopps’ words from his 1984 interview with panelists of CBC quiz show “Front Page Challenge”.
The development of extra cardiac pacemaker came about during Dr. Hopps assisting Dr. Bigelow in the study of hypothermia, cold surgery. During the studies, which took place in Toronto, the doctors realized that one of the problems is to keep the heart beating in the cold state. So they developed a technique to stimulate the heart, to keep it going.
» View the IEEE Canada Review article on the first external cardiac pacemaker
Event Photos (click on thumbnail for larger version)