Health – a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health may be regarded as a balance of physical, mental and social aspects of life in a being.
- image: The updated USDA food pyramid, published in 2005, is a general nutrition guide for recommended food consumption.
Medicine – a range of practices which aim to maintain and restore human health through the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine relies upon health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication, surgery, or some other form of therapy.
Between 1850 and 1950, life expectancy nearly doubled in the United States, thanks to the combined effects of antibiotics, immunization, and public-health measures. Since then, it has only crept up.
Biomedical engineering is a big subject, so we have broken it down into several different topics.
Healthcare treatment – engineering advances help healthcare personal in the areas of
- Anesthesia, 1846 – In response to the first public demonstration of ether, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. wrote: “The fierce extremity of suffering has been steeped in the waters of forgetfulness, and the deepest furrow in the knotted brow of agony has been smoothed for ever.”
- Blood Bank – Dr. Charles Drew, a physician and medical researcher, discovered a novel way to store and process blood plasma used in transfusions. His discoveries led to the development of blood banks, which revolutionized modern medicine.
Some promising new areas where engineering is improving healthcare treatment
- An intelligent “scalpel” has been developed that can detect cancerous tissue in real time during surgery. It performs an instant analysis of the tissue’s characteristics, determining whether the tissue it’s cutting is cancerous. to date, the iKnife had already diagnosed cancerous tissue in 91 patients with a success rate of 100%.
- AdaptAir – simple and highly effective solution to avoidable pneumonia deaths.The one-size-fits-all silicone adapter has tapered cones designed to fit all children’s noses, creating a strong seal and preventing any air leaks. It is made of soft and pliable silicone for the comfort and safety of the children. The product can be mass produced cheaply via injection molded machinery (potentially 3D printers) and is reusable with sterilization, without losing form or properties.
- Ten life-saving technologies for rural health care – low-cost medical devices for health care in developing countries. For example, HIV diagnostic device and this blood sample centrifuge built around parts stripped from an electric drill.
- D-Rev: Brilliance – India – Jaundice is a critical neonatal health issue affecting 6.7 million newborns in the developing world. An affordable, state-of-the-art phototherapy device that cures jaundice. In its first 4 months, 170 units have been purchased by hospitals in 4 countries. In 5 years, Brilliance will treat 2 million babies. As one of the The Tech Awards 2013 Laureates this project has been recognized as providing an innovative solution to a problem with significant social impact.
There are many obstacles to delivering healthcare. Engineering innovations are helping to increase the number of people who can receive healthcare worldwide.
- Riders for Health – a fleet of over 1,400 motorcycles, ambulances and other four-wheel vehicles suitable for sub-Saharan Africa, where most people live in rural areas that can only be reached by small dirt paths (at best). Riders for Health charge a fixed price of 18 cents per km for motorcycles, which includes fuel and focus on maintenance. The vehicles can be in constant use for years without breakdowns. The low and predictable prices allow government and aid groups to better incorporate maintenance in their budget planning. These simple, affordable and straightforward solutions improve access to healthcare and the potential to improve the lives of 12 million people. A mobilized outreach worker can see nearly 6 times more people and can double the time they spend in communities as they cut down traveling time. Not only can they monitor diseases more effectively, but also serve as a link to the nearest health facility when necessary.
- Bringing HIV Labs by Backpack to Rural Africa – portable CD4 tester lab-in-a-backpack instruments can bring diagnostic testing directly to patients and health workers in the developing world. The device can provide CD4 counts in less than 15 minutes, from a simple finger prick.
- sterilizing – a process that eliminates or kills life forms such as bacteria and viruses. It is usually done by heat, chemicals, radiation or high pressure.
Here are some challenges for you to work on…
- Choose a prosthetic – Help our doctor diagnose 5 different knee replacement patients. – online interactive exploration, requires Flash
- Aortic Aneurysm Surgery – help repair a weakened heart. There are lots of machines and medical devices that were engineered to help make this repair possible.
- MRI – In the MRI imaging technique, strong magnets and radio waves are used for getting images of inner organs made of soft tissue, compared to X-ray imaging where you get images of hard tissue, like bones and teeth. In this game you are to assist in an MRI investigation. You have to choose one patient out of four, for conducting an MRI investigation.