Engineering plays as much a part in modern healthcare systems as pharmaceutical drugs, although few people are aware of it. Every year millions of radiographs are taken of fractured bones; thousands of artificial hips and knees are implanted; and countless lives are saved through mechanical ventilation, and yet the massive contribution that engineering makes towards the diagnosis of disease and the treatment of patients goes largely unrecognized.
The fact is however, that engineering in its various guises runs through the health service like writing through a stick of rock and engineering is responsible for many of the medical advances which we now take for granted. Prosthetic hip/knee joints, clinical biomechanics analysing normal and abnormal human movements, tissue/cell engineering for replacing diseased or injured organs, e.g. skin, cartilage and bone, clinical signals, genomic coding, medical devices for diagnostics and treatment such as pacemakers, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT scanning), electrocardiography (ECG), and image guided surgery are just a few of the technologies that have revolutionized modern medicine and changed the lives of many for the better.