Vitalograph Logo
Loading Icon
1963 Vitalograph Ltd is Founded

Dietmar Garbe was asked by the Medical Research Council Pneumoconiosis Panel to source or develop a simple, office spirometer to screen coal miners for pneumoconiosis, commonly called ‘Black Lung’. Up until this point spirometry could only be done in laboratories.

The result was ‘The Vitalograph’, from the essential features, ‘vital capacity’ and ‘graph’. Manufacture of Vitalograph Spirometers began within the old stables in the grounds of Dietmar and Margaret's family home, Maids Moreton House.

1964 The Vitalograph is used in UK

Acceptance of the robust, portable Vitalograph Spirometer is fast and widespread in the UK and for many people the Vitalograph name became synonymous with spirometry.

To discover more than half a century's worth of innovations and creativity at Vitalograph visit: The Vitalograph Story

The Vitalograph Story The Vitalograph Story
1965 Vitalograph is a Success With the success of the Vitalograph Spirometer, supply capacity far exceeded supply and a new purpose-built medical device factory unit was built at Maids Moreton House to manufacture the Vitalograph. The workforce of Vitalograph Ltd gradually grew, largely from people living in the village of Maids Moreton and the nearby town of Buckingham.
1966 Vitalograph Starts to Export

With the success of Vitalograph in the UK, thoughts turned to expansion by export. This was not an easy thing to do in the 1960’s with currency control and low growth, as well as import barriers in many countries.

The acquisition of international distributors was led by Margaret Garbe who continued in this role until her death in 1974.

1971 Office Opens in Kansas City, Missouri A Vitalograph sales office and warehouse opened in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Later the office/warehouse moved across the state line to Lenexa Kansas, where it remains today.
1972 Simple Peak Flow Meter Concept Evolves Dietmar started to develop the concept of a low-cost Peak Flow Meter after being inspired by seeing an idea for a maximum velocity ski anemometer which strapped to a skier’s shoulder.
1974 Vitalograph (Ireland) is formed Manufacturing started in a former garage building owned by Ted Sheils, a founding director of Vitalograph (Ireland) Ltd while the first part of the Ennis factory was being built
1975 The Successful ‘Peak Flow Monitor’ is Launched in USA

The ‘Peak Flow Monitor’ was brought to production in the USA. The simple mechanical peak flow meter is today regarded by many physicians as an essential tool in the home management of asthma.

This year also saw the launch of the first Vitalograph electronic device, the very successful ‘Digital Meter’ which was developed and manufactured in Maids Moreton.

1976 Fledgling Factory in Ennis A new purpose built Vitalograph manufacturing plant opened in Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland in 1976, the first of many expansion phases.
1977 The ‘Opening Interrupter’ Launched Dietmar and Margaret’s youngest son, Marcus, joined Vitalograph in 1978 as a trainee. He was followed 2 years later by his older brother, Bernard, who is now the current managing director.
1980 Birth of the PC Spirometer

The Vitalograph traditional spirometer was awarded a GS (safety) award from the TÜV in Germany. This involved the development of a ‘safety mouthpiece’, which became the patented and very successful ‘SafeTway’ mouthpiece.

This year also saw of the birth of PC spirometry, and Vitalograph Spirotrac Software.

1982 Electronic Spirometers Come to Market The recognition that a full electronic spirometer was required to compete with Japanese competition led to the commencement of a project to develop the Vitalograph COMPACT. After extensive research into the ‘best’ flow measuring technology for physiological breath measurements, the Fleisch technology was chosen for its accuracy and robustness.
1984 The ATS Publishes ‘Standardization of Spirometry’ Vitalograph launches the 1-L Precision Syringe to allow simple daily accuracy checks as recommended by the new ATS guidelines on spirometry. Vitalograph was among other experts from the industry actively involved with the creation of these early guidelines.
1985 Vitalograph Emergency Aspirator Wins Design Council Award

1985 was a champagne year for Vitalograph, starting with a Design Council Award for the highly successful Emergency Aspirator presented to Vitalograph by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh in London.

1985 also saw the creation of the holding company Vitalograph Medical Instrumentation Ltd in Ireland and the opening of a significant new factory extension in Ennis.

1986 Vitalograph COMPACT Wins Design Council Award

This year saw the formation of Vitalograph Inc. when Bernard took his family to live in Kansas City for two years to developing this important market for Vitalograph.

The Vitalograph COMPACT won both a Design Council Award and a gold medal for design from the Leipzig Messe in the DDR (pre-unification East Germany).

1988 Vitalograph Silver Jubilee In 1988 Vitalograph celebrated its Silver Jubilee. The climax of the celebrations was a dinner party in Althorp House, home of the Spencer family, with our international distributors. Princess Become Patron
1992 Spirotrac III is Launched on a PC The Vitalograph Escort spirometer is launched this year as well as the Spirotrac III on IBM PCs with DOS OS and Windows 3.1. The ALPHA desktop spirometer, launched two years earlier with a Lilly flowhead, gains inspiratory measurement capability with a Fleisch flowhead. This device was hugely successful in Germany for the newly formed Vitalograph GmbH.
1996 Launch of the Successful 2120 The successful Vitalograph 2120 hand held spirometer is launched, as well as the Vitalograph Bacterial Viral Filter (BVF). This innovative consumable improved bacterial/viral efficiency from 50% to over 99%.
1998 Development of the First Low Cost Inhaler Trainer The TUT, a new bespoke inhaler trainer device, was developed using an ASIC and mobile phone microphone technology developed by the pharmaceutical company sponsor.
1999 The Launch of the Successful PEF/FEV Diary and Vitalograph micro The Vitalograph micro and PEF/FEV Diary is launched. The purpose of the Diary was to give Vitalograph an entry into electronic diaries for clinical trials and was hugely successful, with tens of thousands being used in clinical trials during the next decade.
2001 Ennis Factory Expands Again 2001 was an excellent year for spirometer sales, with record sales of both the Vitalograph 2120 and the Vitalograph ALPHA. The Ennis factory is expanded to meet demand.
2002 Launch of the Pneumotrac

One of the most successful Vitalograph products, Pneumotrac, is launched this year.

In late 2002 Vitalograph won a contract to became the main contractor in a major respiratory clinical trial on a new respiratory medicine with centralized electronic data capture. This included a sophisticated QA over-read system. At this time most clinical trials were still paper based, being fully electronic was unusual and a major strategic advantage for Vitalograph.

2006 Vitalograph Reports Software Launched The very successful Vitalograph Reports is launched to give free report generation facility to the 2120 and the re-launched Vitalograph Micro.
2007 First Launch of the 4000 Series Respiratory Monitors

In 2007 Vitalograph moved into new purpose built offices to accommodate the growing business and special facilities for clinical research security.

This year also saw the launch of the 4000 series respiratory monitors, starting with the asma-1 and the highly innovative copd-6.

Spirometry Over-Read Services, long used in clinical trials, commenced in primary care practices.

2008 DBA Design Award for the 4000 Series

The copd-6 device won a prestigious DBA Design Award. Later in the year USB and serial comms versions of the 4000 series devices were launched.

An extended range of BVFs to fit most spirometers and PF Lab equipment was also launched this year.

2009 Bluetooth Respiratory Monitors for Home Use The highly successful 4000 series Bluetooth versions are launched along with developer’s kits to aid applications software designers in connectivity. Real-time home respiratory monitoring becomes a reality, now offered by many service providers in this growing sector of healthcare.
2010 In2itive and ALPHA Touch The In2itive hand-held spirometer and e-diary, as well as a new ALPHA and the ALPHA Touch spirometer are launched this year.
2011 Launch of the New Aerosol Inhalation Monitor

The new DPI and MDI inhaler tester is launched in generic form and in the highly successful OEM form.

Sales of Bluetooth 4000 series respiratory monitors also take off this year with CRO and e-diary companies, particularly in USA.

2012 A Year of Growth

In 2012 demand for devices, particularly the In2itive increased significantly. The service side of the business including technical support is made global with the Hong Kong office.

With rapid growth, many new employees are recruited in Vitalograph Inc, Vitalograph Ltd and Vitalograph (Ireland) Ltd.

Vitalograph GmbH realizes the group’s first virtual warehouse operations as sales increase rapidly.

2013 The Golden Anniversary Year

After several years of development, this 50th year for the company sees the commencement of the first clinical trial with the Vitalograph Bluetooth 12-lead EGC, integrated into Spirotrac software.

A new version of the COMPACT is launched now a medical work-station, no longer simply a spirometer.

Vitalograph Celebrates 50 Years

Today, Vitalograph spirometers are sold in over 100 countries worldwide and are widely recognized as the ‘Gold Standard’ by which other respiratory devices are measured.

Resuscitation equipment is still manufactured, and the business has expanded to include many additional types of medical devices and services used by a range of medical specialists worldwide, but still retaining a respiratory focus.

Advancing technology in electronics, software and communications is constantly opening new opportunities for Vitalograph in an increasingly regulated market.

We donate equipment, training and support every year to third world countries, particularly in support of lung disease research. The 'Fresh Air' project is one such research project that we have supported in several countries including Uganda, Vietnam, Eritrea and other undeveloped countries.

Fresh Air project
Modern day Vitalograph Group is still a family company, very stable, financially strong and it remains committed to the founding Garbe family goal of delivering effective solutions designed to push back the boundaries of possibility in respiratory medicine and research. Vitalograph Corporate Video