Connecting Medicine and Engineering Could Hold the Key to Better Healthcare

Engineering and medicine have been synchronized in various ways. For instance, prosthetic hips, bedside monitors, artificial valves and MRI machines emerged due to the interface of medicine and engineering. Since medical and health records involve the storage of big data, artificial intelligence and personalized medicine can attest to the importance of engineering in medicine.

Rise of Biomedical Engineering

Engineering faculties have been preparing for the future of biomedical engineering. They have to induct their students to learn the concepts and tools of engineering and how to apply them in the biomedical field. For example, designing implants capable of surviving for years in the body is speeding the need for biomedical engineers.

Several institutions have also accredited biomedical engineering programs to try and meet the market demand. Due to the changing trends in engineering-based education, students are equipped to collaborate with the challenges by subjecting them to group-based projects. Through these projects, the upcoming medical engineers have the expertise on some medical terms hence making them communicate effectively with physicians.

Shortage in Medical Training

The curriculum in most medical schools does not help physicians to develop some of the required skills. Every physician is using advanced technology in their daily work, but only a few of them have the technical education necessary to develop it. Most institutions have now started new programs that involve the blending of medical and engineering education.

However, most of these efforts employ an outdated physician-centered method that aims to train one person in two subjects. They need to be prepared to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams. The two-discipline one-person approach has a rich history in medical institutions, especially in M.D and the Ph.D studies. These programs have been successful in some disciplines, and only a few doctors are trained in them.

Collaboration Between Medicine and Engineering is Inevitable

A proven and scalable approach to link medicine and engineering is the only way that will teach healthcare workers and engineers to work together as a team. For example, some institutions promote innovation by fixing engineering into nursing and clinical surroundings and medical students into engineering laboratories.

After students have been embedded, they acquire cultural literacy, technical vocabulary, and experience working with multidisciplinary teams. It, in turn, provides them with a good base for careers in innovation and health sectors. Fortunately, educating physicians and engineers to cooperate is getting faster and cheaper. Additionally, it is more practical than specialty building programs to train healthcare workers-engineers or propelling more biomedical engineering courses.

The approach has built successful and experienced programs such as Coulter Translational Partners Program and Stanford Biodesign. It is gaining more popularity in institutions where medical and engineering students are on the same campus.

Bridging the Gap

Finding solutions on how to reduce the disciplinary and literal separation between medicine and engineering is important. It will help expand and cultivate innovation at the interface. The new specialized training programs may also play a role in engineering-medical cooperation. However, promoting collaboration within the workforce has the biggest potential in creating a visible impact.

The gainers in the next brand of healthcare innovation will be institutions and firms that will find paths to train nurses, doctors, and engineers to work together. If these three groups can effectively work together to solve the tough healthcare problems, then their institutions will be the bigger players in the field. Analysts say the important convergence between medicine and engineering is well-known to companies like Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) who walk the thin line between those disciplines.

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