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What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical Engineering, what is it? Well for starters it combines engineering and medicine into one profession. Engineering is a profession that combines science and technology together to make machines, structures, and designs. Medicine is the science of how to prevent diseases, finding cures, and treatment. Now Biomedical Engineering is when we combine the design and create equipment for medical science. This can include artificial internal organs such as hip and knee joints, and develop the materials needed for the replacements of body parts.

There are about 23,00 biomedical engineers in the US and all of them don’t build the equipment because there are machines to do that for them. So now what do engineers actually do when they are in the office or working? One option can be to design equipment and find new materials to use to make the product better. Another option is to test the product to check if it works how it’s supposed to. Now if we dive deeper into the actual job they do, we can find that they shadow doctors and see how a specific product might help their daily life. For example, a biomedical engineer shadows a dentist. They notice that every time the dentist checks the person’s teeth, they have to change their gloves, the equipment, and by doing this they are wasting their time and the patient’s time. The biomedical engineer writes this down and goes back to their drawing board and designs an alternative so it can be easier. After 2 months they design a little knob that allows the brush to clean itself and shows the dentist. The dentist tries it out for 2 weeks and reports the results to the biomedical engineer. If the results are consistent and it works how it’s supposed to, then it is taken for production. If it isn’t successful, the dentist explains why it isn’t, and the biomedical engineer fixes the product to resolve the problem. This process of going back and forth to make the product better continues on and on until the dentist is satisfied. Most times it might just seem like an easy process but actually, it can take 2 years or more years because it has to satisfy both the designer and buyer.

Look at all the things around you. They are most likely designed by an engineer. But what is designed in a hospital, rehab center, and/or dentist is mostly made by biomedical engineers. Without biomedical engineers, we would have never been able to make artificial necessities.

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