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Article
July 14, 1928

THE CARDIOTACHOMETER

JAMA. 1928;91(2):98. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700020032012
Abstract

The picture of a physician, with watch in hand, counting the pulse rate of his patient has long been used to represent one of the main diagnostic activities of the medical practitioner. Yet the determination of the rate of the heart beat by this procedure belongs to the comparatively modern devices of practice. The pulse, it is true, has long enlisted the interest of scientific observers. Galen, for example, is known to have written numerous essays on the pulse. The feeling of the pulse has a long history in both literature and art.1 It has been pointed out,2 however, that up to 100 years ago the practicing physician paid little attention to pulse rate but indulged in hair-splitting refinements of classification of pulses of different qualities. Innumerable voluminous but sterile treatises have been published on the quality of the pulse. Quantitative studies of the pulse rate were initiated

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