Doppler Ultrasound History

October 28, 2011

Ultrasound-History@OBGYN.net is very fortunate to have papers and communications of Donald W. Baker donated to this polybiography site. Don Baker was a central figure in the invention and production of the first commercial medical Doppler instruments for the noninvasive study of blood flow and motion in the living body. This work constitutes a distinguished career of over 50 years.

Ultrasound-History@OBGYN.net is very fortunate to have papers and communications of Donald W. Baker donated to this polybiography site. Don Baker was a central figure in the invention and production of the first commercial medical Doppler instruments for the noninvasive study of blood flow and motion in the living body. This work constitutes a distinguished career of over 50 years.

In addition we have received a rare video of the first demonstration of color Doppler. This rare video was provided to us by Geoff Stevenson, MD, who was also involved in the early developments and medical use of Doppler shifted ultrasonic energy.1 Geoff was the first author and presenter of this video in 1979 at the American Heart Association’s meeting. This video was in the archives at the University of Washington

on 16 mm film. Geoff and I met at a meeting of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and he told me about the existence of this rare film. It was subsequently transferred to video tape, which was provided to OBGYN.net and digitized by me for use on the WWWeb.

Doppler has come to be used in almost every medical discipline for the study of blood flow, tissue motion, and disease processes involved in these dynamic processes. Until this invention the only way to study circulation was the invasive process of angiography. Now we can non-invasively and safely study the circulation of human body, including the reproductive perfusion as well as the perfusion in the fetus. We are honored to have this valuable historical material placed with us. Thank you Geoff and Don for this addition to the polybiography of medical ultrasound.

References:

The following are links to the various documents and the video of the very first public demonstration of this remarkable technology. These documents are essentially as the author submitted them, with only formatting to HTML.

New! Making Waves Silently - Compliments of the University of Washington Trend Magazine (3,527kb .pdf)

Geoffrey Stevenson’s Email describing the history of the video

Video of the first presentation of color Doppler (requires video player software)

D. W. Baker’s “Brief Description of the Ultrasound Program” Univ. of Washington, Seattle, 1976

D. W. Baker’s Chronological Narrative

D. W. Baker’s CV

D. W. Baker’s Bibliography

Peace, Terry J. DuBose, MS, RDMS, EAB, FSDMS, FAIUM, Chair of OBGYN.net Ultrasound

1. Stevenson JG, Brandestini MA, Weiler T, Howard EA, Eyer M: "Digital multigate Doppler with color echo and Doppler display - Diagnosis of atrial and ventricular septal defects. Circulation 1979; 60-2:205.