Biomedical engineering relates to the foundation of some of the most pioneering innovations in medicine. It is the integration and application of engineering techniques and analysis to solve challenges in medicine and biomedical sciences. Simply put, it is the amalgamation of biology, medicine and engineering to understand and resolve medical and health related problems thereby improving the quality of human health and life.
Some of the key areas are biotechnology, biomaterials, biomechanics, genomics, computational biology, bio imaging and image processing, neural systems engineering, physiological systems modelling bioinformatics, micro technology, radiology, rehabilitation engineering, telemedicine, proteomics, bioMEMS, nano-medicine and tissue engineering.
Biomedical engineers in clinical medicine design and develop devices like MRI machines, microscopic machines used in surgery, and methods and algorithms which advance biological and medical knowledge. Biomedical engineers focus on areas such as biosensors and bio signal processing and design pacemakers, x-ray machines and electrical circuits. Those in information technology design computer software for medical instruments; those in instrumentation sensors and measurements work on computerized tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, cochlear implants, drug infusion pumps, wireless micro sensors, solve antibiotic resistance and study diseases using physiological models. They blend fields such as chemistry, physics, mathematical models and computer simulation which result in new drug therapies. They use statistics and mathematical models to analyze the signals generated by brain, heart and skeletal muscles. They also focus on robotics in surgery and develop devices such as artificial knees, limbs, hips and heart valves.
A minimum of four years of bachelor’s degree is required for an entry level position in a biomedical engineering job. Biomedical engineers combine a formal training in mechanical and electronics engineering with a specialized focus on biomedical training. However, many entry level biomedical engineers tend to hold a master’s degree. Some take courses in neuroengineering fundamentals, drug design, development, and delivery, bio fluid mechanics, engineering electrophysiology, and/or diagnostic imaging physics.
Biomedical engineering jobs can be found in government hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, biomaterials or biotechnology companies, industry and academic institutions and government hospitals. Biomedical engineering job also relates to the management of a health care technology for a hospital. Some biomedical engineers tend to move towards law schools to work with patent laws and intellectual property associated with biomedical inventions. Biomedical engineering jobs requires one to have a strong base in English, technical writing and ethics. Several students also go on to learn a foreign language enabling them to work in a foreign country of their choice.
The number of biomedical engineering jobs has been increasing rapidly over the years. The main reason for this is due to the increasing demand for improved medical devices and systems. The ageing population and people’s growing concern of healthcare also adds as an important factor. Biomedical engineering jobs are also in demand as it involves the process of improving the quality of life patients through the development of prosthetics and other organs.
Emerging as an independent discipline, employers are acknowledging the value of this speciality. Biomedical engineers with their unique skills of having the capacity to interface with all the fields that come together in this discipline can look forward to an outstanding career ahead.