Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering  is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes (e.g. diagnostic or therapeutic). This field seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine, combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to advance health care treatment, including diagnosis, monitoring, and therapy. Biomedical engineering has only recently emerged as its own study, compared to many other engineering fields. Such an evolution is common as a new field transitions from being an interdisciplinary specialization among already-established fields, to being considered a field in itself. Much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, spanning a broad array of subfields. Prominent biomedical engineering applications include the development of biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices ranging from clinical equipment to micro-implants, common imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, regenerative tissue growth, pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic biologicals.


Engineers with training in biological and medical sciences are called either biomedical engineers or medical engineers. Biomedical and medical engineers develop life-saving devices, such as pacemakers and prosthetic limbs, as well as diagnostic medical equipment.

Inside Biomedical and Medical Engineering

Biomedical engineering and medical engineering are two phrases for the same subject. These engineers develop mechanical and electrical solutions to medical problems, such as designing artificial organs. They also develop diagnostic and imaging equipment. The field is constantly evolving, but some specialties within it have become staples, including tissue and cellular engineering, biomechanics, biomedical imaging and biochemistry.

Education Information

There are many degrees in biomedical and medical engineering, including the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Science and Master of Medical Engineering. There are also doctoral degrees available. Biomedical and medical engineering programs include math and physics courses along with courses in physiology and biochemistry. Some students may choose to earn graduate degrees to work in management or research. The degree you need varies greatly by the career you choose. Below are some of your educational options.

  • Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering Technology
  • Undergraduate Degrees in Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate Degrees in Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering Master’s Degree
  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

Distance Learning Options

For those who wish to learn about biomedical engineering online, there are a few options available. Some colleges and universities offer entire degree programs online, while others offer specific courses. Check out the links below for more information about relevant online learning options.

  • Hybrid Associate’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering Technology
  • Distance Learning Biomedical Engineering Technology Programs
  • Online Biomedical Training

Biomedical Engineering Tasks

Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare. Biomedical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems
  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment
  • Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment
  • Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of equipment
  • Work with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists to research the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals
  • Prepare procedures, write technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, clinicians, hospital management, engineers, other colleagues, and the public

Biomedical engineers design instruments, devices, and software used in healthcare; bring together knowledge from many technical sources to develop new procedures; or conduct research needed to solve clinical problems.

They often serve a coordinating function, using their background in both engineering and medicine. For example, they may create products for which an indepth understanding of living systems and technology is essential. They frequently work in research and development or in quality assurance.

Biomedical engineers design electrical circuits, software to run medical equipment, or computer simulations to test new drug therapies. In addition, they design and build artificial body parts, such as hip and knee joints. In some cases, they develop the materials needed to make the replacement body parts. They also design rehabilitative exercise equipment.

The work of these engineers spans many professional fields. For example, although their expertise is based in engineering and biology, they often design computer software to run complicated instruments, such as three-dimensional x-ray machines. Alternatively, many of these engineers use their knowledge of chemistry and biology to develop new drug therapies. Others draw heavily on mathematics and statistics to build models to understand the signals transmitted by the brain or heart.

The following are examples of specialty areas within the field of biomedical engineering:

Bioinstrumentation uses electronics, computer science, and measurement principles to develop devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Biomaterials is the study of naturally occurring or laboratory-designed materials that are used in medical devices or as implantation materials.

Biomechanics involves the study of mechanics, such as thermodynamics, to solve biological or medical problems.

Clinical engineering applies medical technology to optimize healthcare delivery.

Rehabilitation engineering is the study of engineering and computer science to develop devices that assist individuals with physical and cognitive impairments.

Systems physiology uses engineering tools to understand how systems within living organisms, from bacteria to humans, function and respond to changes in their environment.

Biomedical Engineering Qualities

Analytical skills. Biomedical engineers must be able to analyze the needs of patients and customers to design appropriate solutions.

Communication skills. Because biomedical engineers sometimes work with patients and frequently work on teams, they must be able to express themselves clearly. They must seek others’ ideas and incorporate those ideas into the problem-solving process.

Creativity. Biomedical engineers must be creative to come up with innovative and integrative advances in healthcare equipment and devices.

Math skills. Biomedical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics, as well as statistics, for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Biomedical engineers typically deal with and solve problems in complex biological systems.

Career Options

Most engineers entering the industry are required to have a bachelor’s degree in their specialty. Being specialists there scope is limited to few specialist organisations but the earnings are considerable for deserving candidates.

To know about other Engineering options please visit the following link – Engineering – A Career.

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