When biology and engineering combine together to create materials with principles in the medical field, a biomedical engineering field is established. From artificial body organs to surgical robots, biomedical engineering can work wonders, combining simple engineering technologies and biological knowledge. Behind these pieces of medical equipment are biomedical engineers who design devices to aid in the recovery or improvement of health conditions.
Well, that is not all. As a biomedical engineer, one should require the proper knowledge in computing, have an innovative mindset, and excellent problem-solving skills. These engineers have conquered the need for medical supplies during this tough phase of COVID-19, where patients are struggling to get an ounce of oxygen for survival.
What are the medical supplies in dire need during the COVID-19 phase?
COVID-19, the virus that broke out in China in December 2019, spread globally within no time. Unfortunately, the outbreak could not be contained and still continues to claim thousands of lives around the world. In a developing nation like India, the second wave of the pandemic brought the country to its knees, pleading for medical assistance. This calamity's dreaded need saw the rise of tens of thousands of ventilators being supplied to the hospitals across the country.
With the surging cases of COVID-19 in developing countries, the demand for ventilators and various types of medical equipment is increasingly high. Thankfully, since the last decade, the medical community has witnessed the assistance of advanced electronics in accessing many scientific details. From what we’ve seen in the last few weeks, the critical role of medical technology comes into action when treating patients, and protecting the community.
Biomedical engineering deals with manufacturing ventilators, helping the nation to cope with its demand for breathing devices. Ventilators work by supplying oxygen to the lungs while removing carbon dioxide, which is essential for weak patients struggling to breathe. As for ventilators, they are extremely sensitive machines that work on hardware as well as software. If one of the parts fails to work, the whole system shuts out, and this is a cause of concern for medical institutions and authorities. Biomedical engineers ensure that these devices are compatible, fine-tuning their structuring and programming them for use.
This unique field of biology and technology science has been presented as a possible field in supporting the fight against COVID-19, alongside challenges reported by epidemiologists, medical doctors, and immunologists. Biomedical engineers help with designing and development of prevention methods, diagnostics, monitoring, and therapies. In an alarming situation like this, biomedical engineers are looking at umpteen number of ways to shorten the time for processing equipment in hospital shortages. The process to understand the make-up of a device and its analysis usually takes months, but these engineers are currently looking at expeditious ways to create hospital equipment.
Engineers have been using the reverse engineering technique to study various materials before processing medical equipment. The optimum methods needed to create these are also estimated within these short periods. Speedy production along with an accurate testing process, high health and safety measures such as sterilisation are also carried out before these devices are ready for use.
As a boon, 3D printing has gained considerable recognition in the past few years and luckily, comes in handy with the biomedical equipment processing units. 3D printing allows making precise copies of medical equipment. In response to the pandemic outbreak, several small-scale companies with access to 3D printers have been able to meet the desperate needs of healthcare workers, and people who work in close proximity to other people.
The ICMR is positioning a lot of biomedical engineers across the various hospitals in the country. These engineers guide medical doctors and hospital staff with the operations of ventilators and other devices needed in the Intensive Care Units. With their guided support, a lot of patients in suffering can benefit from the use of these scientifically created objects within a shorter span of time.
Additionally, biomedical engineers across the country are working towards better solutions for the everyday needs of a hospital/medical setup. Moreover, the biomedical engineering field has shown the golden value of its work and how it is impacting countries in dark times like these. Thankfully, our citizens are able to live a few extra years because of the medical advancements in a branch of technology like bioengineering.