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July 2018

Tesla and the Violet Ray

Author Affiliations
  • 1The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, Galveston
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(7):813. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0927

The beginnings of electrotherapy can be traced back to the Victorian era in the late 19th century. During this period, physicians experimented with applying electrical currents to the human body. Among the early pioneers of electrotherapy were the French physician Jacques Arsène d’Arsonval and the genius inventor and engineer, Nikola Tesla. The electrotherapy circuits produced from Tesla’s research were not initially intended for medical applications.1 Tesla publicized the product during his various lectures and captured the attention of 2 French physicians, Paul Marie Oudin and Jacques-Arsène d’Arsonval.

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