How Biomedical Engineering is advancing healthcare and changing lives

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If you’re interested in biology and computing, and have a flare for inventing then Biomedical Engineering could be just the course for you!

Biomedical Engineering allows us to help others, by using problem solving skills to help improve the lives of people with medical conditions or injuries, by using and creating technology and bio-mechanics to build equipment and devices that can change lives!

As a biomedical engineer you could be responsible for the development of new high tech equipment used in operations – either in the form of machinery, or technical devices or implants used within the body, or you could develop prostheses, and so much more!

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The recent BBC Two TV programme ‘The Big Life Fix: Inventing the Impossible’ is a great example of what biomedical engineering can really do.  It brings inventors and biomedical engineers together with individuals that have a variety of conditions that are having a real impact on their lives.

The first episode featured a man with a fatal skin condition that means his skins burns severely when exposed to even a low level of UV light; and a man who was born without a fully formed hand, who longs to be a hairdresser.

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The team of product design engineers spent time with each person to establish their abilities and limitations, and then, through collaboration with biomedical engineers, created bespoke devices and tools to help each person.

Using prostheses technology and prototypes to test their ideas, the results were outstanding.  They developed a unique modelled and painted mask (like a second skin) out of special material that no UV light could penetrate, that allowed its recipient to spend time outside safely.

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They also created a prosthetic socket that bespoke tools could fit into for the trainee hairdresser, which allowed him to grip and then cut hair which was impossible before.  These outcomes were truly life changing for those involved, and the satisfaction and sense of achievement of the engineers on their creations was really inspiring.

If you want to make a difference, but don’t want to be a medical professional, perhaps this is a career to consider?

Find out more about Biomedical Engineering at BCU here.

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