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Comprehensive Teaching of Medical Devices

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovations in Design within BME Curricula

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.359.1 - 22.359.10



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Paper Authors


Gail Baura Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences

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Tiffany Berry, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University

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COMPREHENSIVE TEACHING OF MEDICAL DEVICESMany undergraduate bioengineering programs state on their websites that they are training theirgraduates to enter the medical device industry. However, most curricula contain little directmedical device content. When medical devices are discussed, the devices are electrical devices,which are taught within the context of a bioinstrumentation course. The bioinstrumentationtextbook used may not provide up-to-date information on basic medical instruments such aspacemakers, mechanical ventilators, and cochlear implants. Mechanical medical devices such astissue heart valves are often not discussed in other courses.A semester course has been developed which addresses these issues. In addition to foundationalmedical device issues, students are exposed to 19 basic medical devices: electrocardiographs,pacemakers, external defibrillators, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, heart valves, bloodpressure monitors, catheters/bare metal stents, hemodialysis delivery systems, mechanicalventilators, pulse oximeters, thermometers, electroencephalographs, deep brain stimulators,cochlear implants, functional electrical stimulators, intraocular lens implants, hip prostheses,drug-eluting stents, artificial pancreas. The medical devices chosen include Nobel Prize andClinical Lasker Prize winners, vital signs devices, and devices in high industry growth areas.Imaging devices are excluded because they are often covered in a separate imaging course. Eachdevice lecture includes discussion of appropriate physiology, clinical need, a system diagram,and requirements from an engineering standard. Five laboratory experiments provide hands-onexperience with industry equipment. The course content is being summarized in a textbookwhich will be published by Elsevier Academic Press in 2011.This course has been taught four times, but only with assessment through teaching evaluations.In preparation for this presentation, students taking this course during Spring, 2011 will completethe same survey at the beginning and end of the course to assess how their medical deviceknowledge has grown. A specific question on their final exam will also be designed to assesstheir medical device knowledge, according to Bloom’s taxonomy.

Baura, G., & Ph.D., T. B. (2011, June), Comprehensive Teaching of Medical Devices Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17640

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