Greg Brown

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Sales of Beatles records lead to the creation of the CT Scanner

25th November 1963: A group shot of the Beatles, Ringo Starr (in the background), George Harrison (1943 – 2001), Paul McCartney and John Lennon (1940 – 1980), pictured during a performance on Granada TV’s Late Scene Extra television show filmed in Manchester, England on November 25, 1963. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

When you think of the Beatles, you probably don’t think of integral medical tech used for neurosurgery and oncology.  But, maybe you should: back when you were buying Beatles records, you were unknowingly funding the development of CT scanners.

In the 1960’s The Beatles recorded their music under the label, EMI (Electric and Musical Industries).  The company was known for more than just music though: EMI was also an electronic research and development company.  They developed television and radar technology.  And, MUSIC funded their exploits.  Specifically, sales of the Beatles’s records were bringing in 30% of the company’s profits.  That money was pumped back into research and development, notably the creation of the CT scanner.

The CT scanner was a technical marvel.  For the first time, doctors could have accurate 3D scans of soft tissue of their patients.  Those scans would assist in surgery, saving people’s lives.  And, since it was all funded by the purchase of Beatles albums, all those Beatles fans can take credit for helping fund the creation of this life-saving device!

The Long and Short / Radiologic