Atari in hospital

I was contacted some time ago by a person asking me if I would be able to provide help with repair or replacement of an Atari 800XL for a hospital. I was very curious about that, because it's known that Czech hospitals are in bad financial situations but I just wondered how an 8 bit computer could be of use at the end of the nineties. The person was kind enough to send me some details about the setup and also sent me a few pictures.


It's used in a child cardiocenter in Faculty Hospital Motol for heart diagnosis. They are looking for uninvited leaks between two parts of heart. The process involves injecting an isotope into the blood stream and monitoring its movement in the vascular system of the patient.


1) The computer is started and the program is loaded from cassette.
2) The patient's data (name, birthdate, height, weight) is entered.
3) Date & time of the checkup are entered.
4) The age of the isotope is entered.
5) The program computes the optimal amount of isotope.
6) The probes are pointed to certain places on the patient's body.
7) The isotope is injected into the patient's blood stream.
8) For 5 minutes the program records the data from the probes.
9) The resulting data is saved to cassette tape.
10) The gamma interface is disconnected, and the teletype interface is connected in its place.
11) The protocol is printed to the teletype.

This checkup could be done using another type of gamma detector or 'camera', but it would take about 1 hour and the amount of isotope would need to be higher.


4 gamma probes
Atari 800 XL
Atari XC 12 datasette with Turbo2000
Teletype T100
Interface: Atari <-> gamma probes (two joystick connectors)
Interface: Atari <-> teletype (one joystick connector)


Setup detail: The black box at the left rear is the power supply for the interface.

Overall look to gamma probes and plotter.

Detail of setup.

Overall look. At the left is teletype machine.

Overall look.

Detail of sticker on the computer. I wonder where did they got it.

As this story was linked by SlashDot, it got a lot of attention (resulting in web server overload), I'm adding a list of servers which had linked this page:

english: SlashDot Atari News PC Gear Mag PC Pro


spanish: Linux Preview BarraPunto

german: Futurezone HardwareGuru

dutch: ZDnet


french: Phijvmi . Back (c) 1998-2004 Jindroush Last modified: Sun Mar 25 23:46:22 2001