Our History

A history of innovation leadership.

Hillrom traces its medical innovation roots to 1915 when Dr. Francis Welch and William Noah Allyn developed the world's first handheld, direct illuminating ophthalmoscope, and established Welch Allyn. This device paved the way for future innovations that would continue to help practitioners provide better patient care. 

In 1927, William (Bill) A. Hillenbrand had a revolutionary idea to "bring the home into the hospital" by offering hospitals wooden furniture to help create a warmer, more comfortable environment. In October 1929, as the United States plummeted into the Great Depression, Bill founded Hill-Rom and persuaded hospitals to furnish their private rooms with his wooden furniture for six months free of charge. If they weren’t satisfied, they could simply return the furniture. After the trial periods, none of the furniture was returned, and some hospitals placed orders for more.

Hillrom products through history

Almost 60 years later, researchers at the University of Minnesota began developing a therapeutic device that would replace manual chest percussion therapy to help clear excess secretions from Cystic Fibrosis patients’ lungs. Years later, this device developed into the Monarch® Airway Clearance System.

In 1982, David W. Mortara, PhD, founded Mortara Instrument, which grew to become a leading provider of diagnostic cardiology solutions. Today, these products continue to enhance patient care with trusted diagnostic algorithms, flexible EMR connectivity and enhanced security features.

In 2005, Trumpf Medical developed the world's first OR lights with LED technology. These medical lighting innovations enable optimal and consistent lighting conditions for surgeons and clinicians.

Most recently, in 2008, Trey Lauderdale, Oscar Callejas, Benjamin King and Rob Campbell founded Voalte on the vision of simplifying communications and improving collaboration, workflows and outcomes across the healthcare system. Today, the unique mobile platform is used by more than 200 healthcare customers with more than 84,000 devices.

Fast forward to present day: these products and technologies, along with others, have united to form today’s Hillrom.

Coming together to advance connected care.

Animation of Hillrom brands becoming one

We proudly continue this legacy of innovation and desire to enhance outcomes for patients and their caregivers. Today, Hillrom's 10,000+ employees work together to deliver on this mission in more than 100 countries.

We’ve welcomed Allen Medical, Liko, Mortara, Trumpf Medical, Voalte and Welch Allyn into our family. We're continuously advancing and integrating our solutions to provide timely data and actionable insights at the point of care. That means more accurate diagnoses, earlier intervention and faster recovery times.

As one team, we’re more dedicated than ever to connecting care teams today for a more insightful tomorrow. Join us in this next step forward.