Founded in 1951 under the vision of "Fighting Disease With Electronics," Nihon Kohden has grown to become one of the world's top medical electronic equipment manufacturers. Our products are built on 60 years of continuous improvement, innovation and attention to quality and usability.

1. Founding of Nihon Kohden - 1951

Yoshio Ogino
Yoshio Ogino

On August 7, 1951, Nihon Kohden was founded with the goal of combining medicine and engineering. Dr. Yoshio Ogino started the company with 12 employees. Initially, as the sole source of income, they acquired production and marketing of Trio Hearing Aids from Trio Electric Laboratories.

However, true to the company's founding purpose of developing medical electronic equipment, 4 months later, they successfully developed the ME-1D — the world's first 8-channel direct-writing EEG that was completely AC powered. Next they developed an electric ophthalmodynamometer and the world's first simple audiometer, the MAW-1 White Noise Audiometer.

Trio hearing aid
Trio hearing aid

Although business began to grow, business results didn't increase as expected. The first year sales were 12,210 thousand yen, a deficit of about 20 thousand yen.

“World's Firsts" and other notable products by Nihon Kohden

1951 Electroencephalograph

ME-1D 8-channel Electroencephalograph

This original instrument used vacuum tubes and ink-stylus galvanometers that required powerful magnetic fields. It was the first in the world to be completely powered from the AC lines. Today's models require little maintenance and are compact and easy to operate. Some machines also feature EEG data archiving capability.

1951 Electrocardiograph

MC-1B Single-channel Electrocardiograph

Our original ECG weighed 16 kg and used vacuum tubes and a mirror-galvanometer that required photographic processing to see the ECG waveforms. Since then we have made great technological strides forward. Today's ECGs feature direct recording, multiple channels, automatic operation, safety features, and automatic waveform interpretation and monitoring. New dedicated machines allow portable, desktop, and stress testing applications.

1951 Kymograph

MK-1M Kimograph

This was Japan's first photo-electric kymograph. A kymograph is a chart recorder in which a pen records on paper over a revolving drum. It was useful for recording variations such as in blood pressure or muscle tension.