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.
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 StoryThe Vitalograph Story
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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