This article is an essay rather than a scientific publication of the more usual type. Its purpose is not to instruct physicians how to use the method to be described nor to urge them to do so but rather to acquaint them with the main features of this rapidly growing field, emphasizing its difficulties, as well as its background, hopes, and aspirations. I do not propose to review the literature at length, nor to supply a complete bibliography.
Once a week, I hold in my laboratory a conference to which any physician interested in ballistocardiograms is welcome and at which the records taken during the week are shown and discussed. I also take great interest in inspecting any records brought in by those physicians who care to attend, and so, although not actively practicing medicine myself, I have become well aware of the difficulties being encountered by those seeking to