/>
X

Photos: 60 years of NHS tech

From hearing aids to pagers
By Tim Ferguson, Contributor on
40151736-1-medresco1969.jpg
1 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

From hearing aids to pagers

The NHS celebrated its 60th birthday on 5 July. BT has been providing technology to the service since 1948 and has released some photographs showcasing its efforts.

What is now BT was part of the General Post Office when the NHS started in 1948. The first piece of tech to benefit the NHS was the Medresco (Medical Research Council) hearing aid which was an NHS staple well into the 1970s. By 1959 around 750,000 of the devices had been issued.

The hearing aids (above) used thermionic valves which were a miniaturised version of what was being used in the UK telephone exchanges at the time.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-2-telephonetrolley1968.jpg
2 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This is one of the trolley phones introduced in 1954 which allowed patients to call home from their bed. At the time of their introduction they were leading edge technology and were in use until the 1980s.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-3-radiopager1986.jpg
3 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

In the 1970s and 1980s BT did a lot of work around paging technology allowing doctors and nurses to be contacted easily when they were needed.

This is the third version of the device which came out in 1986.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-4-doctorreceivespage1980s.jpg
4 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This shows a doctor in the 1980s attending to a patient and being alerted by his pager that a message is waiting from him at at his base or message service.

From 1984 the pager technology was also used for patients waiting for transplants to alert them when an organ became available for them.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-5-prestelterminal1981.jpg
5 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

This shows a doctor using the Prestel system which was a data service for medical professionals that used the existing telephone network. Users could also use an electronic mail service which used pre-formatted messages.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-6-imtrantelephonexray1980s.jpg
6 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Pictured here is the Imtran (Image Transfer) telephone system used to send X-ray and scan images for second opinions.

The system used a camera which converted images into audio tones to be sent over the telephone network.

Photo credit: BT

40151736-7-healthnetterminal1980s.jpg
7 of 7 Tim Ferguson/ZDNET

Here a nurse uses another communications and information system called Health Net which could access Prestel, and the email service Telecom Gold. The system still exists in name today.

Photo credit: BT

Related Galleries

Holiday wallpaper for your phone: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and winter scenes
Holiday lights in Central Park background

Related Galleries

Holiday wallpaper for your phone: Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's, and winter scenes

21 Photos
Winter backgrounds for your next virtual meeting
Wooden lodge in pine forest with heavy snow reflection on Lake O'hara at Yoho national park

Related Galleries

Winter backgrounds for your next virtual meeting

21 Photos
Holiday backgrounds for Zoom: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, Hanukkah and winter scenes
3D Rendering Christmas interior

Related Galleries

Holiday backgrounds for Zoom: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, Hanukkah and winter scenes

21 Photos
Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza
img-8825

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos