on April 17th, 2023

Ever wondered about the evolution of medical apparatus? We no longer need to sit in a doctor’s room for long periods of time for a blood glucose measurement, and sometimes, we don’t even have to sit in a doctor’s room, all thanks to biomedical engineering.

Biomedical engineers focus on improving human health care at all levels by using and applying an intimate knowledge of modern biological principles in their engineering design processes.

With the continuous advancement in technology, biomedical engineers have introduced various biomedical devices to not only detect medical conditions, but to offer better, safer, effective and efficient solutions to prevent, cure and dismiss the progression of health conditions.

CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) chip

In a study by Thomas Gaj, Genome-Editing Technologies: Principles and Applications, he identifies the CRISPR system used for genome editing or simply, gene editing.

Genetic mutations are proven to be the cause of more than 10 000 diseases in humans, thus gene editing enables DNA to be reformed so that potential diseases can be annihilated.

Gene editing requires a CRISPR chip which is a handheld device that combines thousands of CRISPR molecules with a graphene transistor.

Upon receiving a DNA sample from a patient, the doctor will place the DNA onto the graphene surface of the chip and the CRISPR molecule will be set to detect the required “dangerous” molecule.

If the CRISPR molecules do not find its targeted DNA, the CRISPR molecule will not bind to it and the DNA is released. However, if the CRISPR molecule does find the targeted DNA, it will bind to it and this finding will create an additional charge on the graphene surface, indicating that the “dangerous” molecule has been detected.

The CRISPR chip has allowed doctors the advantage to detect diseases easily and rapidly in patients without performing surgeries or cutting, which in turn saves more lives.

3D Printing

A study by Lee Ventola, Medical Applications for 3D Printing: Current and Projected Uses, explains that medical devices can now be parallel to the anatomy of a patient by employing 3D printing.

Owing to the identical replication of anatomy, 3D printing has enveloped greater acceptance of the body, increased comfort, and revamped performance outcomes.

The process of 3D printing begins with a digital blueprint which can be achieved using computer-aided design (CAD) software or volumetric images to develop models of a patient’s anatomy. Further, body-scanning techniques such as CT or MRI can provide templates for drafting custom grafts to suit the patient’s anatomy.

Medical 3D Printing. Source: WikiMedia Commons

This biomedical device has encouraged doctors to not only educate using 3D printing but to also better match anatomy which translates to improved accuracy of the solution.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is making an impact in all areas of engineering

AI is proving to be monumental when it comes to finding diseases early and for confirming an accurate diagnosis faster. It is proven that the use of AI in mammograms has enabled the process to be 30 times faster, with a 99% accuracy rate.

In a recent press release by Life Healthcare, Hilton’s radiotherapy unit received an Novalis circle certification for their radiosurgery, which uses artificial intelligence to ensure precisely targeted radiation to destroy tissue without cutting.

AI is also being used to oversee early-stage heart disease, allowing healthcare providers to locate potentially life-threatening complications at earlier and at more treatable stages.

Telemedicine

Telemedicine refers to remote clinical services. For healthcare providers, telemedicine is flattering as it deteriorates extra expenses, decreases the exposure to infections, and allows practitioners to draw momentum in the number of patients they see.

Telemedicine also provides the opportunity of “seeing” a doctor, for patients who are unable to get themselves to the hospital or clinic.

Telemedicine kits include various types of biomedical devices, which includes a pulse oximeter, digital stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, glucometer, otoscope, and EKG monitor.

All of these biomedical devices are used to track, record, and transfer data about a patient’s vitals and condition directly to healthcare providers.

According to a survey conducted by Telehealth Statistics and Telemedicine Trends, 91% state telemedicine would help them stick to appointments, manage prescriptions and refills, and follow regimen recommendations.

Health Wearables

As technology advances, so does wearables. Wearables can be synced to smartphones to track everything from steps, physical fitness, heartbeat, to sleeping patterns.

Wearables prove to be effective at preventing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, by helping patients to keep up with and improve their fitness.

The biomedical device has capabilities to record blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and electrocardiograms. Manufacturers are currently working on enabling blood glucose measurement which would appeal to those living with diabetes.

In a panel discussion, Doctors of Business: Effect of Wearable Devices in the Healthcare Market, John Mannix explained the future of wearables and the impact it has on healthcare, stating that it could possibly revolutionize healthcare.

Biomedical devices are revolutionizing the healthcare system, and as Hippocrates says, wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.

Advanced Diploma of Biomedical Engineering

Are you interested in joining the field of biomedical engineering and being a part of the healthcare revolution? Look no further than the Advanced Diploma of Biomedical Engineering program offered by the Engineering Institute of Technology.

This program will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to design and develop innovative biomedical devices and technologies that can save lives and improve patient outcomes. With courses on topics such as medical imaging, biomaterials, and biomechanics, you will have a strong foundation to tackle the challenges faced in the field of biomedical engineering.

Join this exciting field and make a difference in the world of healthcare. Enrol in the Advanced Diploma of Biomedical Engineering program today!

References

Gaj, Thomas. 2016. Genome-Editing Technologies: Principles and Applications. v.8(12).

Ventola, Lee. 2014. Medical Applications for 3D Printing: Current and Projected Uses. v.39(10).

History made as Life Oncology’s Radiotherapy unit at Life Hilton Private Hospital receives South Africa’s first Novalis Circle Certification https://www.lifehealthcare.co.za/news-and-info-hub/latest-news/history-made-as-life-oncology-s-radiotherapy-unit-at-life-hilton-private-hospital-receives-south-africa-s-first-novalis-circle-certification/

Charleson, Kimberly. Telehealth statistics and telemedicine trends 2022 https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/telehealth-statistics/

Doctors of Business: Effect of Wearable Devices in the Healthcare Market https://weatherhead.case.edu/media/videos/list/healthcare-mgmt/play/doctors-of-business-10

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