What Is Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is the process by which medical knowledge is applied in the analysis and design fields to create new technologies and make existing technologies more efficient or cost-effective. In most cases, these engineers provide invaluable services that enhance the overall field of healthcare.

Description

The primary reason why students choose to enter the field of biomedical engineering is to help others. By acquiring knowledge related to the human anatomy, engineering and design, these individuals will be able to perform many different tasks in a wealth of specialties. These individuals may be asked to develop software, create artificial organs or limbs, develop new surgical procedures with the help of colleagues, or perform laboratory work alongside their peers as part of clinical trials. Biomedical engineers must be able to think objectively and outside of the box in order to perform their jobs well.

Specialties

Some of the specialties in the field of biomedical engineering are: medical imaging; orthopedic engineering; cellular, tissue and genetic engineering; bioinstrumentation; biomaterials; biomechanics; clinical engineering; rehabilitation engineering; systems physiology. Each of these specialties operates within a different area of medicine or engineering, and each is just as important as the next in making the world of healthcare better for patients. For instance, rehabilitation engineers work to develop products and treatment options that provide faster recovery after injury or illness, while bioinstrumentation specialists work to develop new ways to diagnose and treat disease.

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Activities Performed

Depending upon their exact specialties, biomedical engineers may be asked to perform any number of duties. Among these are:

Study, treatment and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries
Imaging systems technology and software
Injury and wound healing biomechanics
Blood chemistry testing and designing new sensors for more accurate readings
Computer modeling of specific bodily systems, including the circulatory system and renal system.
Designing better laboratories for clinical settings
Designing artificial organs for research and eventual transplant
Designing advanced systems for more effective surgeries such as laparoscopic and laser surgery

This is only a sampling of the tasks that the field of biomedical engineering encompasses. In some settings, engineers may be given very specific tasks; in others, they may be asked to assist with a wide variety of medical research.

Work Settings

There are several settings in which a degree in biomedical engineering can be helpful. These individuals work in industry settings, in hospitals, in clinics, in research facilities associated with hospitals or universities, as teachers, and even for various government agencies. The duties these individuals will be responsible for performing have much to do with their places of employment. For instance, engineers employed in laboratories may be responsible for research and testing. On the other hand, engineers who are employed with government agencies may be required to test products for efficacy and safety. There is even a need for these engineers in the marketing field as they may serve as technical advisors.

An exciting career in biomedical engineering can lead to job opportunities in a number of settings. People who work in this industry often work long hours and dedicate their lives to helping others, but the rewards are well worth the investment.