Med-Science

Med-Science was an American company based in Needham Heights, Massachusetts that manufactured pulmonary function equipment from the 1950’s through the early 1990’s.  It may be best known for it’s Model 570 Wedge spirometer.


Spirometer_Med-Science_Wedge_1961_Patent_Drawings

Med-Science Model 570 Wedge Spirometer, 1961.  A drawing from patent #3,154,068, submitted 1961, approved 1964.

“Another object of the invention is to provide a high dynamics spirometer. The instrument is designed to have small travel of the parts in motion corresponding to large volume differentials or changes in volume. Therefore large volumetric acceleration with correspond to small linear acceleration. Since for a given mass in motion, the lower the accelerations, the higher will be the frequency response.

“Another object of the invention is to provide a spirometer which will offer all the known functions of previous spirometers, and at the same time provide an electrical readout of both volume change and flow changes. These two measurements are entirely independent. Previous to this invention, no patient-driven spirometer has been capable of independent readout of volume changes and flow changes.

“The low linear acceleration results in small forces required to actuate the moving elements. Since the patient’s lungs in mechanical spirometry are required to generate the forces to drive the spirometer, it can readily be seen that the lower linear accelerations result in lower forces in the lungs to drive the spirometer. Thus the patient’s breathing is more nearly normal during the process of measurement. The effect is magnified at the point of higher dynamics, such as rapid breathing and coughing.

“In an ordinary spirometer, a patient coughing is not only affected physiologically by the higher forces of the ordinary spirometer, but the actual cough is recorded subject to the errors of the instrument at high frequencies.

“A further object of this invention is to provide a spirometer in which the ambient pressures within the spirometer and the patient’s lungs remain as close to atmospheric pressure as possible. Thus the patient does not have the feeling that something is impeding his breath, which is the case in the ordinary spirometer.”


Spirometer_Med-Science_Model_470_1967

Med-Science Model 470 Spirometer, 1967.  From Medical Electronic Laboratory Equipment 1967-68: Pergamon Electronics Data Series by G. W. A. Dummer, J. Mackenzie Robertson, published by Elsevier, page 1162.


Plethysmograph_Med-Science_Pulmo_Box_Model_275

Med-Science Pulmo-Box Model 275 Plethysmograph, 1967.  Volume displacement. From Medical Electronic Laboratory Equipment 1967-68: Pergamon Electronics Data Series by G. W. A. Dummer, J. Mackenzie Robertson, published by Elsevier, page 826.

Spirometer_Med-Science_Model_370_Wedge_1959

Wedge Spirometer, Model 370, 1968.  Found in “Diseases of the Chest”, published by American College of Physicians and Laennec Society of Philadelphia. Council on Post-Graduate Medical Education, World Bank Publications, 1968, page xxxii.


 

Nitrogen_Analyzer_Med-Science_Nitralyzer_1959

Nitrogen Gas Analyzer, Nitralyzer, 1968.  Found in “Diseases of the Chest”, published by American College of Physicians and Laennec Society of Philadelphia. Council on Post-Graduate Medical Education, World Bank Publications, 1968, page xxxii.


Med-Science_Pulmonizer_Compactest_FLOOP_1979

Med-Science FLOOP, 1979.  Found in a brochure for the American College of Chest Physicians Forty-fifth Annual Scientific Assembly, Houston, Texas, 1979.


Spirometer_Med_Science_Wedge_1970

Med-Science Model 570 Wedge Spirometer, circa 1980.  From: Pulmonary Function Testing: A Practical Approach, by Jack Wanger, published by Williams & Wilkins, 1992, page 10.


Med-Science_Pulmonizer_1980

Med-Science Pulmonizer Pulmonary Function Testing System, 1980.  Photo is from a sales brochure courtesy of James Sullivan, BA, RPFT, Supervisor, Pulmonary Laboratories, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Spirometer_Med-Science_Model_570_Wedge_1980

Med-Science Model 570 Wedge Spirometer, 1980.  Photo is from a sales brochure courtesy of James Sullivan, BA, RPFT, Supervisor, Pulmonary Laboratories, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Med-Science_Series_3000_Pulmonizer_1984

Med-Science Series 3000 Pulmonary Function Testing System, 1984.  Performed spirometry, helium dilution lung volumes and single-breath DLCO. Could be upgraded to include closing volumes and N2 washout kung volumes. Used a wedge spirometer. Came equipped with a top-of-the line IBM PC XT with dual 5-1/4″ floppy disk drives (!).  Photo is from a sales brochure courtesy of James Sullivan, BA, RPFT, Supervisor, Pulmonary Laboratories, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

 

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PFT History by Richard Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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The diverse, quirky and mostly forgotten history of Pulmonary Function testing