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How Biomedical Engineering Saves Lives

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 6/1/2011

Technology is changing the face of health care and products that make life easier. Biomedical Engineering is just another way technology is working to improve the quality of life.

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    Modern technology, especially in the medical field, is advancing by leaps and bounds, in large part through the science of Biomedical Engineering. The combination of engineering and medical technology has made these advances possible. From prosthetics to artificial organs like the Jarvik7 artificial heart to breast implants for cancer patients, biomedical engineering is improving the quality of life for millions of people all over the world. Amputees can walk and even run with the use of biomedical engineering technology. Patients who need heart transplants can rely on technology when real hearts are not available. People who are facing blindness can have their sight restored with biomedical engineering.

    Biomedical Engineering Technology

    When Dr. Jarvik invented his breakthrough artificial heart, it was through biomedical engineering. The heart is made of materials designed to limit rejection and function much the same as a real heart would, pumping blood into the arteries and receiving oxygenated blood from the lungs. Tiny telescopic lenses can be fitted into the eyes of people who are losing their sight to restore vision. Missing limbs can be replaced with biomedical prosthetics, allowing patients to walk or use their new “hands" in almost the same way the original parts operated.

    How Biomedical Engineering Saves Lives

    Not only does the Jarvik7 artificial heart save the lives of patients who would otherwise have died from heart disease, but diabetic patients can thank biomedical engineering for a new insulin implant that keeps the right amount of insulin going to the pancreas at a pre-determined rate to prevent insulin shock or diabetic coma. Cochlear implants are part of biomedical engineering that allow deaf people to hear everything from music to TV to sirens and traffic noises, the latter two of which can allow them to travel and even drive with a greater level of safety.

    Overview

    Biomedical engineering covers many different fields from drugs to imaging to replacement parts. Combining two intensive sciences such as medicine and engineering is proving to be the solution to a variety of problems. Not only is biomedical engineering extending life expectancy, but improving the quality of life for millions. Breast implants for cancer patients are a great quality of life enhancer. Biomedical engineering is especially important to wounded military personnel during wartime. Being able to restore people to their normal quality of life is one of the most important parts of biomedical engineering.

    Resources:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomedical_Engineering

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