Medical engineering is a vital component of the healthcare industry and, in turn, a vital component of public health. By supplying health practitioners with the latest advancements in medical equipment and technology, the field of medical engineering supports the health and wellbeing of millions of people every year.
Many advances in the field of medical engineering today seem commonplace. But the development of essential life-saving and life-improving tools like hip replacements, pacemakers, medical imaging, life support systems and medical lasers would not have been possible without research and development in the field of medical engineering.
How Medical Engineering Benefits the Public Health Sector
The healthcare industry is the world’s biggest industrial sector with an annual turnover of approximately £100 billion and is currently expanding at a rate of 7% per annum.
As such a quintessential industry, and with the provision of quality and reliable healthcare a fundamental concern for every individual, it is essential for the healthcare industry to be supported by the medical engineering industry.
It does this by conducting extensive research and development in the production of efficient, reliable and safe medical equipment and technology.
From evaluating medical equipment at the design stage, to testing the parameters and limitations of medical equipment, the work of engineers assesses the viability and functionality of medical equipment and its components in order to assure quality and reliabilty for medical practitioners working in the healthcare industry.
Improving Quality of Life for the Public
The advancements in medical technology not only assist medical practitioners in their work. Patients, and therefore the public at large, also rely on these advancements for their quality of life.
Hip replacement devices are just one area where medical engineering is playing a vital role in supporting health practitioners and benefitting public health. As a very common operation, hip replacement surgery has brought pain relief and renewed mobility to millions of people worldwide. Continuing research is further exploring ways to improve the performance of artificial hip joints and extend life-spans so they can be used for longer periods and on younger and more active patients.
In addition, further technological advancements have recently seen developments in artificial limb technology. Bionic arms with powered finger, wrist, elbow and shoulder movement is one such area undergoing amazing developments in research. Other exciting advancements involve the development of artificial tendons that respond to electrical currents and behave in a way similar to human muscles, allowing for greater usability and control of artificial limbs.
Another exciting advancement that will greatly impact the public health sector and improve quality of life includes research in the area of artificial retina chips. These artificial chips would be designed to replace a damaged retina and partly restore lost vision. This advancement will have far reaching applications for people with limited sight and greatly improve their quality of life. The potential to transform the quality of life for these people is huge.