Biomedical engineering is an incredibly important field of study, and the fine engineers in this line of work are the reason modern technology and surgical instruments have progressed to where they are today. Inventions like the pacemaker, responsive prosthetics, and the MRI machine have all come about thanks to the efforts of these innovative individuals.
While biomedical engineering work is vital, most of the general public are not entirely sure what it is or what it entails. To be fair, it is a fairly broad field of study, and it can be challenging to understand for anyone without any experience in the medical field.
As a tribute to the biomedical engineers around the world, including the ones that help Endovision succeed, we’ve created this basic guide to the field of biomedical engineering. Read on to learn more!
What is Biomedical Engineering?
A biomedical engineer is someone trained in both medicine and engineering, and their job is to apply their practical engineering knowledge and skills to solving problems in the medical field and improving our health. This can mean anything from inventing new medical instruments to working with people with disabilities to create better aid devices.
A biomedical engineer will study for a minimum of four years across a broad range of fields, touching on everything from software development and computer science, to the intricacies of the human brain (depending on their chosen specialty). Ultimately, their focus is in the medical field, so they study courses from an engineering perspective that focus on the form and function of the human body, as well as bioinformatic computation (mathematical data from biological organisms). Biomedical engineers need good working knowledge of most sciences, including chemistry, biology, materials science, and more.
Biomedical engineering, as we mentioned before, is a broad field of study and breaks down into many disciplines.
The Disciplines of Biomedical Engineering
Like any field, biomedical engineering has many branches and denominations, each occupying a specific niche in the medical field. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Medical Device Engineering
Medical device engineers are what most people will picture if asked to imagine a biomedical engineer, i.e. a person who applies their knowledge to develop newer and better instruments to use in diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Here are some fields of medical device engineering:
- Medical Imaging, which focuses on making and optimising devices that allow medical practitioners to see inside the human body without invasive methods, e.g. x-ray imaging and MRI scans.
- Implants, which denotes a field where engineers create substitutes for biological components, such as a heart valve or bone.
- Bionics, which is the field of replacing external body parts with engineered substitutes.
- Biomedical Sensors, which notice changes in human tissue and provide data to practitioners, who use this data to better diagnose and treat their patients.
If you think of medical device engineers as the people in tech labs, clinical engineers are the people on the ground. They work in hospitals as a knowledgeable intermediary between the medical field and the medical engineering field, using their experience in both to optimise medical device implementation. It’s a very practical profession, focusing on incremental changes rather than large-scale inventions.
After treatment comes rehabilitation, and rehabilitation engineers are the people who focus on making this part of recovery a lot easier for patients. They apply their knowledge to design, test, optimise, and release technological solutions to any issues people with disabilities may face. Some examples of this include hearing aids, mobility aids, and even tools to improve cognition.
In short, it is thanks to biomedical engineers of all denominations that doctors, surgeons, and dentists have advanced tools that allow them to provide the best possible care to their patients.
Surgical innovation, patient safety, and value for money.
We are focussed on making sure our customers receive world-class surgical equipment so that they can deliver the highest possible standard of care. Enjoy a free 14-day trial offer on a piece of equipment you wish to buy, and test it for the right fit in your practice. Contact Endovision today to set it up!