Biomedical systems engineering is a wide-ranging field that tries to solve problems in biology and medicine using engineering tools and problem-solving techniques.
Related fields of study include chemical engineering (like forming new medicines), mechanical engineering (think of prosthetic limbs and artificial organs) and computer science (like the growing field of computational biology).
Biology and medicine are great environments to apply existing expertise in other science and engineering fields. Biomedical engineering also has a history of entrepreneurship as many new medical developments can be commercialized, meaning that this area of expertise can also involve communication skills.
Bioengineers work with doctors, therapists and researchers to develop systems, equipment and devices in order to solve clinical problems.
Biomedical engineers have developed a number of life-enhancing and life-saving technologies. These include:
- Surgical devices and systems, such as robotic and laser surgery
- Implanted devices, such as insulin pumps, pacemakers and artificial organs
- Therapeutic equipment and devices, such as kidney dialysis and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Systems to monitor vital signs and blood chemistry
- Prosthetics, such as dentures and artificial limb replacements
- Imaging methods, such as ultrasound, X-rays, particle beams and magnetic resonance
- Diagnostics, such as lab-on-a-chip and expert systems
The practice of biomedical engineering has a long history. One of the earliest examples is a wood and leather prosthetic toe found on a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy.
Before that, even simple crutches and walking sticks were a form of engineered assistive devices, and the first person to fashion a splint for a broken bone could be considered to have been an early biomedical engineer.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Biomedical Systems Engineering Training, a 4-day workshop style course where participants learn how to structure and lead a conceptual design effort and apply the most essential systems engineering tools to realistic biomedical problems. Designed with substantial biomedical industry input, the program addresses modern systems engineering principles applied to biomedical systems.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.