Medical Electronics and Technology - Essay Example

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1500 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Research paper
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The field of medicine is one of the oldest and most important professions in the world. One of its nature is the ever-changing trends as a result of the discovery of new diseases and research into the present diseases. It is important to note that some diseases such as smallpox which were a menace in the past have been eradicated as a result of Science. Use of medical electronics has been adopted for over fifty years, but currently, the discoveries made can bring out revolution. In the 21st Century, a great link between electronics, technology, and medicine has been developed. For this reason, I aim to highlight the relevance of electronics and modern technology in the field of medicine.

Technology in the health sector is evident right from the point of diagnosis, research, and treatment of diseases. This does not only involve electronics but also affect suitable software used in computers at health centers. For instance, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are now common ways of keeping the data of a patient. The data networks behind an EMR is amazing as it shows the application of data communication trends. The Electronic Medical Records consist of data collected from various institutions involved in a patient's care. This implies that there has to be a database which links information from various sources into one file. With such details of past illnesses, any new doctor will have a general idea of the approach he/she should take on a patient. At the same time, the technology provides for analytics which tracks data over time and identifies patients who are in need of screenings and doctor visitations. Electronic records also help in monitoring certain parameters including blood pressure, glucose levels, and vaccination (Luo, 2006).

There are many electronics currently used in hospitals and other health institutions. Such electronics can be classified into diagnostic, research, therapeutic, and treatment electronics. Diagnostic electronics are those that help the medical personnel in the diagnosis of a disease. Such machines include those used for imaging. In the past, the most common form of imaging was the X-ray, but currently, there are many alternatives. The options include the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines which are built on the concepts of directional magnetic fields of charged particles. In the case of the human body, the hydrogen atoms align in the direction of magnetic field of the MRI machine thus creating a signal which is processed into an image. Other imaging devices make use of radar like in the case of ultrasound machines and projection radiology. The ultrasound electronics emit high-frequency sound waves which are then reflected back and form the basis of images. Mammography machines are imaging devices used to check for breast cancer in women. The gadget produces an x-ray printout from which doctors can make a diagnosis. Computer Topography (CT) Scanners, on the other hand, combines data from several x rays to produce a detailed image of a section of the body (Iniewski, 2009).

For research and laboratory, there are electronic devices used in establishing blood glucose levels and blood pressure monitors. Other applications in the lab include conduction of blood and urine tests. In recent years the main components making up electronic devices have become smaller with the advancements in chip technology. This has motivated the development of wearable fitness technology for use during everyday errands or sporting activities. For therapy, there are electronics for massage, and at the same time, technology has been developed to come up with prosthetics which get powered digitally. Wheelchairs are also advanced in nature as they come with electronic controls for the patient to be able to maneuver around with little help from other people.

Some medical electronics apply the use of Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID). Such microchips have been made for storage of patient information. With the help of such chips, events such as scheduling of surgeries and treatment regimens are made more accessible, and errors are minimized. RFID technology applies in pacemakers which are perhaps one of the most significant medical electronic fitted into the human body. Pacemakers are placed in the chest to control abnormal heart rhythms. Once installed in the chest cavity, the pacemaker sends low energy electrical pulses to the heart through the wire connections. The small electrical current pulses serve to treat the condition of arrhythmias. RFID is used to track the proper working of the pacemaker and identifier faults which may pose life threats (Gold, 2014).

Hearing aids are corrective devices used for sound amplification for patients with hearing problems. The hearing aids are powered by a small battery which also serves to supply power to the RFID chip located in the retainer. This technology allows for monitoring when the aids need a battery replacement, and in case they are lost, it is easy to track them.

Nanotechnology is a trend that has been put into application in many fields including the medical sector. The microchip and semiconductors are the foundation of nanotechnology and advances have resulted in the construction of nanobots which can perform imaging and surgeries. In the line of surgical procedures performed using electronics, the open heart surgery has received an alternative in the form of laser technology. Such operations do not require a patient to undergo cuts under a knife, but instead, laser beams are used. The same concept is used for corrective eye surgeries (Mendes, Figueiredo, Fernandes & Gama, 2011).

Use of bioelectrical signals to record activities associated with specific body parts is frequent in the medical field. For instance, the electrocardiogram (ECG) measures the electrical activity and rhythms of the heart to establish whether the functioning is normal. The Electroencephalogram (EEG) makes use of metal electrodes placed on the head to monitor electrical signals and thus identify brain activity for research and diagnosis purposes. An Electromyogram (EMG) on the other hand serves the purpose of examining skeletal muscle activity. This examination is essential for sportspersons. The three bioelectrical signals equipment offer a painless way of monitoring the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles respectively.

For the case of advanced illnesses, life support equipment is used until the moment when an alternative treatment is identified or to allow time for healing of a patient after surgery. The kit even though electronic use the principle of mimicking the essential physical conditions and functions. The heart-lung machines are used in the case when a patient loses functionality of the heart and lungs. An incubator, on the other hand, creates an environment similar to that of the womb and thus it is used to house babies born prematurely. Dialysis machines can also be termed as life support equipment because they perform the role that would otherwise require a functioning kidney (Gold, 2014).

There is other miscellaneous medical equipment with electrical gadgets including digital thermometers, electronic endoscopes as well as digital stethoscopes used for general examination. In the optical sector, computerized eye checkups are used as opposed to the traditional reading of charts placed at a distance from the patient. One of the most notable treatment electronic gadget is the electronic aspirin which is fitted on the upper gum for treatment of persistent headaches, migraines, and facial pain. This device serves to activate sphenopalatine ganglion signals and hence block neurotransmitter signals whenever the pains start to manifest (Mendes et al., 2011).

When it comes to data communication and networking, the medical sector has undergone a revolution. It is possible to access information online using websites or mobile applications. At the same time, there is order in the hospitals as most appointments can be booked online. At the same time, sharing of knowledge is much more comfortable due to the connectivity to the internet.

The field of medicine correlates with use of electronics and technology. From the discussion above, it is evident that every stage of the health sector has an association with technology and there are numerous of electronic devices used. Right from the onset, as a patient visits a health center, he/she will be subjected to various equipment which is dependent on the use of electronic gadgets. The medical electronics are not only limited to diagnosis and laboratory research but also treatment, therapeutic and tracking of patient records. Advancements in the fields of electrical and electronics engineering seem to have a direct benefit to the field of medical electronics. For this reason, Medical Electronics Engineering is one of the fastest growing fields for precise health care services. The medical electronics discussed result from excellent work by Medical electronics engineers who combine their knowledge in Biology and medicine with fundamental principles of engineering to come up with life-saving solutions. In conclusion, medical electronics and technology have a great significance in the field of medicine.


Gold, R. D. (2014). Electronics in Medicine. VLSI in Medicine, 17.

Iniewski, K. (Ed.). (2009). Medical imaging: principles, detectors, and electronics. John Wiley & Sons.

Luo, J. S. (2006). Electronic medical records. Primary Psychiatry, 13(2), 20-23.

Mendes, P. M., Figueiredo, C. P., Fernandes, M., & Gama, O. S. (2011). Electronics in medicine. In Springer Handbook of Medical Technology (pp. 1337-1376). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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