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What Is Biomedical Technology?

Biomedical technology is the application of technology and engineering to living organisms, which can involve a range of activities from designing medical equipment or conducting research. Keep reading to find out more about biomedical technology and about your educational options within this field.

Industry Defined

Biomedical technology is a broad term that combines engineering and technology to solve biological or medical problems involving humans, especially the design and use of medical equipment used to diagnose and treat various diseases. Biomedical technology can also be broken down into smaller sub-fields, like biomedical informatics, engineering, science and research.

Important Facts About This Field

Median Salary (2018) $88,550 (for all biomedical engineers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% growth (for all biomedical engineers)
Key Skills Creativity, analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills
Similar Occupations Biochemist, Biophysicist, Mechanical Engineer, Architectural/Engineering Manager

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Biomedical Technology Sub-Fields

Biomedical Informatics

Biomedical informatics is the branch of biomedical technology that deals with the tracking and measuring of biomedical data by using computers and technology. As a biomedical technician, you'd use the information they gather to better understand different issues, such as how diseases spread or how well health systems are performing.

Biomedical Engineering

The branch of biomedical technology concerned with the application of engineering design and principles to medical and biological issues is called biomedical engineering. Your work as a biomedical engineer would involve developing and growing synthetic organs or creating prosthetic limbs to replace diseased or injured parts of the human body.

Biomedical Research

Biomedical research is the study of various chemicals and substances used to develop and improve medicines that are used to treat disease. The research is often conducted using equipment and methods developed by people working in other branches of biomedical technology.

Biomedical Science

Biomedical science, also known as health science, is the application of chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, and other scientific disciplines to the research and treatment of human health issues. Biomedical technology and biomedical science overlap in many aspects, but as a biomedical scientist, you'd focus more on the actual research and treatment of disease, while as a biomedical technician, you'd deal more with researching and developing technologies and methodologies used to treat disease.

Degree Programs

Aspiring biomedical engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree. Researchers, scientists and managers in biomedical technology usually need a graduate degree.

Undergraduate Degree

Undergraduate degree programs in biomedical technology, or biomedical engineering, can be found at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. Associate's degree programs typically focus on teaching you how to use, install, and repair equipment found in hospitals and other health care facilities. Bachelor's degree programs typically offer coursework that covers a variety of topics, such as laboratory analysis procedures used to diagnose diseases and testing methods used by pharmaceutical companies, among other topics.

Graduate Degree

Graduate degree programs are available at the master's and doctoral degree levels. You can pursue graduate degrees in biomedical technology and biomedical engineering. These programs are typically designed to prepare graduates for careers at public and private research facilities, academic institutions, or manufacturing settings. Most graduate programs in this field also offer the opportunity to specialize in specific areas, such as bio-imaging, nanotechnology, and tissue engineering.