Biomedical devices are those electrical devices that are used in medicine to carry out various tests on the human body. A lot of research has been performed in this field, and as a result, these devices have become indispensable as far as medicine is concerned.
Let us have a look at some of the tasks that are performed by making use of these devices:
- For diagnosis of various diseases or abnormalities.
- In the prevention of these diseases, their cure, mitigation, etc.
- In many cases, some parts of the human body malfunction and are no longer able to perform their respective tasks. In such cases, these devices may be used as a replacement for those body parts. For example, a pacemaker is used for a person who has a weak heart.
Based on the type of function that they perform and on other characteristics, these devices have been classified into the following three types:
- The first-class devices relatively cause less harm to the user and have been designed using simple techniques. These devices include ordinary items such as surgical gloves, tongue depressors, other hand-held instruments used in surgery, etc.
- The devices that belong to the second class have certain specialized applications and controls. It may be required to maintain certain standards in these devices during their manufacture as they can potentially harm the user if they are not used correctly. These devices include surgical drapes, wheelchairs with electric power, X-ray machines, etc.
The devices that fall in the third class are tested rigorously before they are introduced into the market and may need approval from some government body. The devices that belong to this category are usually implanted within the human body itself, and hence, these extra precautions need to be taken. These devices include artificial heart valves, breast implants filled with silicone gel, pacemakers that are implanted within one’s body, stimulators for the cerebellum, etc.
Different types of devices among these make use of different techniques to obtain information or to perform their respective tasks. For example, the devices that monitor electrical biosignals produced by the body, like the electrocardiograph, use electrodes to detect the voltage variations. On the other hand, an X-ray machine finds fractures, etc., by using the reflections of the X-rays that it emits and is incident on the particular area of the body.
Many advancements have taken place in this field of biomedical engineering, and these days, devices are being produced that can help produce the various tissues present in a person’s body. Again, by using biomedical devices, these tissues can be preserved and then implanted within a person’s body when required. Further research in this field will currently produce organs that are similar to the natural ones.
Thus, this field shows a lot of scope for development and is likely to bring about revolutionary changes in medicine.