Our history

Since 1937, breakthrough solutions have fueled our efforts to support healthcare professionals.

Together, we rethink solutions to save lives and improve patient care

Ambu was born from one mans' dream of developing products that save lives. That man was engineer Holger Hesse, who founded Ambu in 1937. His passion, innovative spirit and entrepreneurship have laid the groundwork for who Ambu is today. Today, we are a global company 4,500 dedicated employees, with a market leader position in single-use endoscopy across the four major endoscopy segments and with a strong track record of innovative solutions in anaesthesia as well as cardiology and neurology.

In the video below, you can learn more about our founding story - and how it has shaped us into the global medical device company we are today.



From 1937 and to the present, Ambu has brought many breakthrough innovations to the hands of healthcare professionals. Below, we will take you through the timeline of our most game-changing innovations that paved the way for advancing healthcare as well as Ambu's growth.


1937 - Ambu is founded

When engineer Holger Hesse founded Ambu in 1937, he initailly named the company Testa Laboratory. Driven by his desire to make a true difference for patients and doctors, Hesse's first invention enabled private practitioners to measure the amount of haemoglobin in the blood without having to send a blood sample to an external laboratory.

The Sicca Haemometer, as the product was dubbed, is a core example of Hesse's dedication to rethink traditional medical approaches and replacing them with smarter and simpler solutions.

The Ambu Bag

The real breakthrough came in 1956, when the Ambu ventilation bag reached the market, developed together with anaesthetist Henning Ruben. It was the world’s first self-inflating resuscitator and a major milestone in emergency medical equipment.

The Ambu Bag quickly became a permanent part of hospitals’ and emergency services’ product range. Testa Laboratory – which was later to become Ambu – is in growth.

The growth

During the 60s and 70s, the growth at Testa, which was now led by the late Holger Hesse’s wife, Ruth Hesse, continued. Important products were launched, including manikins, the PEEP valve, the ECG Simulator and many more.
By the late 70s, the demand for Ambu’s products was overwhelming. A global distribution network and sales companies strengthened Ambu’s position on the global medical care and training scene. The products now fell under two categories: resuscitation and training products.

Start of electrode business

In 1986, Testa Laboratory changed its name to Ambu International, and six years later, a long awaited stock exchange listing officially marked Ambu as an international company

Furthermore, in 2001, Ambu acquired Medicotest, the largest European manufacturer of electrodes. With the acquisition came a large portfolio of quality electrodes called BlueSensor. And the first steps to gradually move Ambu’s production from Denmark to Malaysia and China began.
During this time, Ambu also began to focus more on single-use devices. The medical community and several markets was in demand for single-use medical solutions, and the single-use aspect gradually became an integrated part of our strategy.

An impactful present

In 2009, Ambu launch the world's first single-use flexible bronchoscope - the Ambu® aScope™. With that, we set out on a new, exciting growth journey. In the last 15 years, single-use endoscopy has proven to be a strong lever for hospitals and clinics, as it frees up valuable resources for increasingly pressured health systems. Single-use endoscopes are always available, 100% sterile and do not require costly repairs or burdensome reprocessing, and as such, they bring valued simplicity as well as high-quality performance to the customers we serve.

In the last five years alone, we have expanded our presence in pulmonology to the fields of ENT (ear, nose, throat), urology and GI (gastroenterology). We now offer endoscopy professionals across the hospital a strong ecosystem of high-quality endoscopy solutions. 

And with our pipeline of future products and our high level of manufacturing output, we keep leading the single-use endoscopy market.

A strong purpose and focus

Backed by our strong history, heritage and purpose, we continue to been driven by our commitment to help healthcare professionals do right by their patients. We believe that by rethinking solutions, we can create new and improved ways for healthcare professionals to care for patients - a purpose that is as relevant now as it was 85 years ago.

With our most recent adventure within single-use endoscopy, we continue to be driven by our purpose, and we are excited about what the future has in store.



Watch our video explaining who we are at Ambu


Watch our video explaining what we do at Ambu