Published: 07th February 2018
You can push the frontiers of medical science on an everyday basis
From pacemakers to stem cell engineering, the greatest technological and biological leaps in the past few decades were invented through the work that took place within Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering is one of the most recent and significant fields of engineering application that involves applying the principles, knowledge and approaches of all major fields of sciences and engineering to provide medical or clinical expertise with the accurate tools for diagnostics, clinical studies and treatment.
A candidate with a biomedical engineering degree can opt for a career as a hospital engineer, a research scientist in research organisations and as an engineer in industries directly dealing with biomedical devices and equipment. Biomedical Engineering in itself is a highly interdisciplinary and research-oriented field. Because of its ability to branch out into so many different careers, it will be able to sustain itself as an industry and a profession in the years to come. It has a great deal of potential to answer many crucial questions that we are yet to find answers to. It manages to merge biology and technology in the most efficient manner.
Med spread: Dr Neeraj Sharma is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering derives its principles and knowledge from all the major branches of engineering such as electronic, electrical, instrumentation, mechanical, computers, ceramics and chemical, and science such as chemistry, physics, nuclear physics, biology, pharmacology, physiology and biotechnology. Whenever some new technology is developed, its application in biomedical engineering is always searched for. For example, the development of optical fibres in the late 1980s has led to the development of the endoscope, which is indeed a useful device for abdomen examination and surgery applications.
Further, most of the high-end imaging systems such as the CT scan and MRI imaging have been possible only because of tremendous advancement in computer technology, both at the hardware and software end. Finally, we can say that it is only because of technological advancement that we have been successfully able to design and develop accurate diagnostic devices (ultrasound scan, CT scan, ECG, EMG and EEG machines and others), prosthetic devices (pacemaker, heart valves, artificial limbs), treatment and surgery devices (LASER-based surgery systems, electrosurgical units, radiotherapy systems, lithotripters and more).
Thus, advancement in the field of science and technology from all fronts has contributed a lot to the development of biomedical engineering. Further, from a biomedical engineering point of view, some of the key areas that are lucrative as a career in the field are as follows:
1. Biomedical instrumentation, biosensors and Bio-MEMs, micro nano-biomedical devices and systems
2. Nuclear medicine, biomaterials and implant technology
3. Biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, orthopaedics and prosthetics
4. Telemedicine and healthcare
5. Medical robotics
6. Computer-integrated and computer-assisted surgery, medical robotics
7. Computational bioengineering, neural systems engineering
Biomedical Engineering is fast emerging and is a field in high demand as a career at both the national and international level.
(Dr Neeraj Sharma is the Associate Professor at the School of Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology at Banaras Hindu University. With a B Tech in Electrical Engineering and an M Tech in Instrumentation, he truly embodies the interdisciplinary nature of his preferred subject. In 2008, he received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and prepared a thesis on the subject, ‘Segmentation of CT and MR Images of Brain and Liver Using Neuro-Fuzzy Techniques’. Currently, he is working on auto-segmentation and contouring of medical images in collaboration with the Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Medicine. He is a lifetime member of the Association of Medical Physicist of India and the Indian Society of Technical Education. His work has also been published in a number of national and international journals.)