Yes, that’s right, engineers. Biomedical engineers to be exact. These days, medical care means a lot more than pills and checkups. Today technology is a big part of healthcare and its breakthroughs have improved and even saved many lives. So what does a biomedical engineer do? They’re problem solvers, tasked with developing and maintaining technology used to improve patient care and treat heath problems. This ranges from MRI machines to laser technology used in surgery to artificial organs. Biomedical engineers also combine chemistry and biology to create new drug therapies.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has created a wealth of new opportunities for biomedical engineers. It’s used to create applications that improve both patient and workflow in hospitals and emergency rooms. This means those that need a bed get it sooner and those that don’t get treated and are on their way home sooner. The IoT is also used for patient monitoring that helps doctors better treat them. Diabetics, those with heart issues, and other chronic conditions all benefit from this technology.
3D Printing is another technology biomedical engineers are in demand for. It’s used to create prosthetic limbs, braces and other medical aids and equipment. These are often much much more affordable for patients. For more info, go here.
So what do you need to become a biomedical engineer? Above all you need to enjoy and have strong math skills, and a biomedical engineering program with have heavy concentrations of chemistry and biology as well. It’s one of the fastest growing STEM fields today. If you already have an undergraduate degree in biology or chemistry you’re on your way. Look for a fully accredited program, and if you’re employed, check with your HR department to see if they offer tuition reimbursement or assistance.
While part of the program can be completed online, you’ll be expected to do a lot of lab work on campus, so make sure to take that into account when working a program into your schedule. If you already have a biology or chemistry degree you may be able to waive some of the requirements. Make sure to get the best possible internships and do your best work in them, as they will become valuable connections once you are finished and looking for a job in the field. It will take hard work, but you’ll find biomedical engineering both lucrative and rewarding!