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When engineering helps improve healthcare

Editorial.

 

Tomorrow’s medicine will be at least 4P: personalized, preventive, predictive, participative. ‘At least,’ because some would readily add “precise,” “proof” (evidence-based), “pathway-based” etc. Beyond naming this type of medicine and determining the correct number of Ps, medicine is clearly undergoing a profound change. A transformation supported in part by engineering, which is bringing major innovations to the healthcare industry. New technologies — whether in relation to digital technology or materials — have led to advances in many areas of medicine.

Researchers at Mines Saint-Étienne’s Centre for Biomedical and Health Engineering (CIS) are carrying out their research in the heart of the Saint-Étienne hospital campus. They are working to improve health systems and technology, in daily contact with medical professionals. Jérémie Pourchez is developing an artificial lung model to study certain respiratory diseases and the toxicity of inhaled particles. David Marchat is developing a new generation of bone implants to facilitate bone regeneration in grafts. As such, they are directly addressing needs for knowledge and tools expressed by practitioners.

Meanwhile, at IMT Lille Douai, Caroline Duc is developing an “artificial nose,” an electronic device that can monitor patients by analyzing their breath – an innovation which could eventually be used to help diagnose diseases.

An “electronic nose” analyzes people’s breath to help sniff out diseases

Sometimes innovation comes from unexpected places. This is the case for a new type of liquid xenon scanner developed at IMT Atlantique. The technology developed by physicists was drawn directly from their efforts to search for dark matter. In the future, we may be able to detect the smallest diseased cells based on our observations of the most distant galaxies!

Is dark matter the key to the medical scanner of the future?

To learn more about new healthcare technologies and how they are impacting patients and practitioners, I’MTech suggests a selection of our archives on this topic:

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