Why Engineers Need Medical Knowledge
MIT Professional Education - Short Programs course, "Quantitative Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Clinical Applications for Engineers,” mismatch between the need on the clinical side and what technologies we find are cool or would like to push into the clinical domain.
Cardiovascular and respiratory medicine are, combined, the biggest drivers of healthcare costs in the world. In fact, one in three deaths in the U.S. are caused by heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. That’s one of the reasons why medical device companies consider cardiology to be one of the most important sectors for expansion.
But while there have been tremendous technological advances in the wearables space, there still exists an impedance mismatch between the need on the clinical side and what technologies we find are cool or would like to push into the clinical domain.
“As an engineer, you should always strive to understand the system for which you are trying to develop solutions,” says Thomas Heldt, faculty instructor for the MIT Professional Education - Short Programs course, “Quantitative Cardiorespiratory Physiology and Clinical Applications for Engineers.” This course provides engineers with a thorough understanding of the quantitative physiology and functional anatomy of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This allows engineers in industry, hospital settings, or even academic settings to actually leverage that knowledge for better technological solutions for the health care system of the 21st century.
“We’re gearing this class to engineers and managers in the healthcare industry or in academia who are interested in these topics, but primarily those who are interested in developing solutions – effective solutions, be they hardware or software – to current challenges facing the health care system,” adds Heldt.
The ultimate goal of the course is to not only provide an understanding of cardio-respiratory physiology and demystify potentially intimidating medical concepts and industry language, but to reduce the barrier between clinicians and engineers. Through seeking to understand clinicians’ needs, engineers can start tailoring their medical device solutions to the actual need of the clinician. On the patient-care side, engineers will be able to talk to practicing physicians who share their view of how technology can help take care of patients and make their job more efficient, effective, and lead to improved outcomes.