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Nihon Kohden’s Late Takuo Aoyagi, PhD, Receives American Society of Anesthesiologists Honorary Member Award

October 12, 2021

A Tribute to the Pioneer of Pulse Oximetry, Recognizing his Legacy in Health Care Technology 

Nihon Kohden, a leading global manufacturer, developer, and distributor in precision medical products and services, is proud to accept this award on behalf of Dr. Aoyagi. The Honorary Member Award celebrates a physician, scientist, or eligible member, who has attained outstanding eminence in anesthesiology or related fields. Dr. Aoyagi dedicated his career to developing the essential technology that’s used in all patient monitoring and neurology devices worldwide. 

This Nihon Kohden story begins in the late 1940s with a young Japanese researcher observing an experiment being performed on a small bird’s wings. This experiment inspired Dr. Yoshio Ogino to think about what could be achieved if he could combine the power of electrical engineering with medicine. He took this vision and founded Nihon Kohden in 1951 to develop sophisticated technological advancements and see his vision of a brighter future come to life. 

Nihon Kohden engineer, Dr. Aoyagi, theorized the principle of pulse oximetry. Less than a year after detailing his advancement, the company introduced the world’s first ear oximeter. Today, all pulse oximeters are based on Dr. Aoyagi’s breakthrough, enabling doctors in every field can easily determine proper treatment decisions. For patients with cardiac or pulmonary conditions, these decisions can be lifesaving.

“The American Society of Anesthesiologists' Honorary Member award is the highest honor given to individuals who have made significant contributions to anesthesiology internationally and has been awarded to seven individuals over the past 40 years,” said Eiichi (Eddie) Tanaka, corporate director, operating officer, general manager, and head of U.S. operations of Nihon Kohden. “Dr. Aoyagi is the first Japanese person to receive this award. I am humbled to be able to accept it on his behalf.”

Nihon Kohden couldn’t be prouder to have our rich history and industry pioneer celebrated. We will continue to lead with research, leveraging our 70-year clinical heritage, and setting the bar for the health care industry. When it’s all connected, more is possible. 

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