19/05/2021

Categories: Biomedical and Medical Engineering, Undergradute

The History and Future of Medical Device Engineering

Today the term medical device is most likely to conjure up images of sophisticated electronic machinery, precision instruments or microscopically detailed devices. However, in one form or another, humankind has been involved in the field of medical engineering for thousands of years.

As long ago as 5,000 years ago, ancient civilisations were using rudimentary tools that they had crafted for basic medical procedures, such as scalpels, lancets, forceps, and needles. These instruments were used to make large incisions to the abdomen and precise, clean incisions to other parts of the body. The stethoscope, which was invented in 1816, by René Laennec, a French physician, is widely regarded as being the first medical device of modern times, and still uses the same principles today as it did all that time ago.

Regulations for medical devices

It wasn’t until much later however that regulations governing medical devices were put in place, in America in 1976 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given the authority over all such devices, and in Europe the Medical Device Directive (MDD) came into effect in 1993 – renamed the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) in 2017.

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Mode of study
4 years
Duration
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UCAS Points

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Full-time
Mode of study
3 years
Duration
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BEng (Hons) BEng (Hons) Biomedical Engineering with foundation year
Part-time
Mode of study
6 years
Duration
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Mode of study
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Mode of study
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Mode of study
12 months
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