While most people think of doctors when they think of healthcare, the truth is that engineers have been responsible for many of the advancements that healthcare has experienced. Everything from diagnostic procedures to new types of treatments for certain types of diseases have come from an engineer. Let's examine six unique cases where engineers have been instrumental in advancing healthcare in some way.
1. Digital Healthcare Records
Information is crucial to allowing doctors to make the right diagnoses and treatment decisions. This is why the ability to seamlessly transmit online medical information has allowed many more patients to have better prognoses. Engineers have been instrumental in digitizing information, constructing secure pathways for it to be transmitted, and teaching medical professionals how to access these systems.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is just one type of imaging that was created by an engineer. Paul C. Lauterbur used his knowledge of physics to create a new way to get a more complete image of a person's body without performing invasive procedures.
3. Redundant and Safe Electrical Systems
Anyone who has ever lived in a residence knows that power outages are a very real risk. They can cause headaches and hassles. They're even more dangerous when they affect hospitals. One power outage can be enough to disable life support for a patient who is undergoing critical surgery. Electrical engineers have been crucial in creating redundant systems to ensure power remains available. This has saved countless people. An electrical engineering master's degree can prepare you for this type of work that is challenging and rewarding.
4. Safer Hospital Environments
Another crucial difference engineers have made is to ensure that the average patient has a safer hospital stay. They have looked at everything from flooring materials to the stability of hospital buildings to ensure that patients are safe when they need medical care.
5. Magnetic Shielding
Few people understand just how sensitive medical equipment is when it lacks the proper shielding. Things like early heart-assistance devices could stop completely when certain radio frequencies hit them. Engineers have worked hard to create new types of shielding that significantly reduces the chance of stray radio signals interfering with sensitive devices.
6. Rapid Advancements in Medical Research
One of the most influential changes engineers have brought to the field of medicine revolves around the way they have forever changed medical research. They have made it possible for researchers in distinct fields to communicate with one another. This has allowed researchers in bio-electrical research to communicate with cardiologists and neurologists. They have been able to verify results, which in turn allows their research to advance significantly faster.
Though doctors, nurses and medical researchers play an important part in the development of healthcare, engineers have been responsible for facilitating many of the advancements that healthcare has experienced. These changes will only become more numerous as healthcare advances in parallel with technology and science.
Anita is a freelance writer medical equipment from Denver, CO and often writes about family, health, home and lifestyle. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn't writing.