Fusing technology with medical science knowledge forms the core of a biomedical engineer’s job. Here is some information about the same…
The healthcare industry has developed by leaps and bounds in the past couple of decades. In the US, medical science growth has been synonymous with the growth of medical equipment and revolutionary technologies. Ever wondered who’re the masterminds behind these technological achievements? Yes, you guessed correctly, they’re the biomedical engineers.
They are professionals working for improving medical technologies. Their job involves integration of medical science knowledge and engineering principles to design equipment that are of great help in carrying out diagnostic procedures.
The career development path is bright as they’re employed in a multitude of fields. Medical equipment manufacturers, research laboratories, departments and institutes are their main employers. All the engineering principles are applied in healthcare to improve efficiency of existing medical instruments, or new products are researched and designed to help doctors in more accurate diagnosis.
Traditional diagnostic machines like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), sonography, CT scans and X- rays all are the efforts of development in biodmedical engineering. As research is being further propelled, scope of their jobs has spread in working with latest technologies of joint replacement or robotic surgical instruments.
Special requirements in rehabilitation settings or in managing the clinical equipment in hospitals also forms an integral part of their job. Although, the tasks may vary depending on job designation, some of the general duties of are as follows.
- Keep abreast with the latest national and international medical developments in the respective field.
- Helping to train the clinical staff.
- Testing, maintaining and developing medical equipment.
- Be involved in medical equipment repair and training.
- Conducting clinical trials of the medical equipment and certifying them to be error free.
- Approaching firms and marketing companies to sell the designed products.
- Work together with technicians, designers and medical experts to come up with economic viable products.
- Following instructions of senior engineers, holding meeting with several clients, GPs and understanding their requirements.
- Report writing, seminar attending and organizing exhibitions to showcase designs and products developed.
- Meet patients and understand their needs and comfort levels in using products. Incorporate their reviews to enhance product quality.
- Use computer software and mathematical models to design medical equipment that are easy to use and effective.
A day in the life of a biomedical engineer is full of lab experiments, new sets of challenges and brainstorming sessions with clients and researchers. They work tirelessly to improve machines to make them better and user-friendly, with minimum risk factors for patients.
In essence, their job includes integrating sophisticated scientific knowledge and human biology knowledge to bridge any gap between medicine and engineering. Candidates interested in becoming biomedical engineers must firstly seek a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. Nonetheless, many electronic and mechanical engineers receive few years of biomedical engineering training before they can work confidently in this field.
Since the scope of this field has increased, there are various schools that have started undergraduate programs in this field. Aspirants are taught various aspects of neuroengineering fundamentals; biofluid mechanics; engineering electrophysiology; diagnostic imaging physics; and drug design, development, and delivery.
A master’s degree in this field is always held with recognition. Students aspiring to be biomedical engineers will be glad to know that the salary in the starting years averages between US$40,000 to US$60,000, which is certainly a good start. With rich experience, one can switch over to larger positions and command higher salaries. Since this is a relatively new field, there are immense career opportunities in this field.
While students are rushing into medical science which takes at least 8 – 10 years for complete education, biomedical engineering offers good opportunities by investing 4-5 years in an engineering degree, and on one or two years in medical science. Hence, if you’ve got interest in both, maths and biology, you can, for sure, make a great career in this field. All the Best!