The grappling situation around the world, with doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff working tirelessly in view of the COVID19 outbreak has shown that medical assistance is more than the unceasing efforts contributed by them. In this acute plight, biomedical engineers are a godsend. Advances in technology and the need to provide care for medically challenged individuals make one of the most sought-after positions in different countries.
Biomedical engineering must look at analysing problems based on engineering aspects as well as biological perspectives. This will help engineers to anticipate the unique difficulties in working around living systems and figuring out a wide range of solutions for varied approaches. From diagnosis and analysis to the various treatment protocols, biomedical engineering has emerged as one of the top fields in raising the consciousness of the public. Truly, biomedical engineering as an entity stands out as highly interdisciplinary and a promising field of technology in the world today.
What skills are needed for biomedical engineers?
A strong foundation in basic sciences, engineering, mathematics, and life sciences are a must-have for any biomedical engineer. Advancing the use of medical devices and clinical services are the core responsibilities of these professionals, who depend solely on health technology and healthcare industries. The duties entrusted to these engineers are to oversee research and development, design devices with maximum efficacy and safety, selecting and procuring useful materials, installation, and integration with electronic medical record systems, daily monitoring, managing, maintenance, and training for safe use of these devices. Additionally, upgrading medical devices for healthcare stakeholders are also duties covered by biomedical engineers.
Biology and Engineering - How much is needed of both?
For any student aspiring to become a professional biomedical engineer, it is important to know the breadth of the field and pinpoint the passion that draws them towards this career. Science and technology education has tangible components like engineering and design, whereas the intangible components include teamwork, practical experience, entrepreneurship, good writing skills, and soft skills.
As we understand it, there are two common pathways for acquiring an entry into a biomedical engineering career. Getting a major in a biomedical engineering course, and getting foundational engineering coursework with more biology-related subjects can help in synthesising information to create and market new products. Whereas, in the second way possible, getting a major in traditional engineering degree and strengthening traditional engineering coursework with additional biology courses can help get through designing devices and understanding the mechanics of it.
Many biomedical engineering students engage in research in laboratories, starting at low levels and advancing to deeper involvement with laboratory activities. These are excellent practices that undergraduate students can give to themselves, provided they see a serious future in this career.
While exploring the key areas of bioengineering, one must know that this area of the profession has a diverse range of applications within the field. A few examples have been curated below.
- Clinical engineering deals with supporting patient care, applying engineering and managerial skills in healthcare technology.
- Rehabilitation engineering focuses on patients with disabilities, augmenting and designing prostheses or alternative systems to help cope with difficulties.
- Neural systems engineering involves the study of the brain and nervous system and encompasses areas such as the replacement or restoration of lost abilities.
- Information technology in biomedicine covers the use of virtual reality in medical applications.
- Medical and health informatics involves developing and using computer tools to collect data and use it for analysis.
These are a few of the top examples to provide a glimpse into the wide world of biomedical engineering. The fact holds true in the sense to require education and training in several sciences to ace biomedical engineering. An equal proportion of knowing biology and incorporating engineering disciplines will help to create fascinating equipment that is capable to save lives, and all of it can be wrapped into this dynamic profession.
In summary, there is no ‘one path’ to a career in biomedical engineering. In this era of post-pandemic risks, biomedical engineering as a profession will continue to boom and demand the need for fresh minds to work towards smarter medical solutions.