Skip to main content
Topics

Health & medical

Series

Quick read

A Black woman with brown, tied up hair is wearing a black protective sports headband and a black t-shirt. Her face is tilted upwards and she is looking to the left of the camera
  • Health & medical
  • Sports & leisure
  • Innovation Watch

The headband reducing the risk of brain injury

Halos is a sports headband for concussion and sub-concussion protection, which will benefit people playing in sports where head impacts occur, such as football, rugby, and hockey.

Quick read

A demonstration of a millimetre-sized camera on a probe in a model of the cervix and uterus.
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 97

Making vital diagnostics more accessible

Delayed access to hysteroscopies in South Africa is causing patients unnecessary distress and health risks. With a new medical device, Cape Town-based startup FlexiGyn is working to make the procedure mobile, affordable and pain-free.

Quick read

A female biomedical engineer standing next to an elephant with a prosthetic foot in an elephant sanctuary, surrounded by trees.
  • Health & medical
  • How I got here

5 things I learned on my biomedical engineering journey

Kirsty Carlyle wanted a career that would make a difference. She married her love of physics and design with her interest in medicine to become a biomedical engineer, and is now doing a PhD in partial hand prosthetics. Kirsty shared five things she’s learned along the way.

Quick read

A man sitting at a table, holding a prototype of a prosthetic hand based on the classic 'split hook' style
  • Design & manufacturing
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 95

Making prosthetics without compromise

Prosthetics for upper limb differences often involve a choice between something user-friendly and affordable, or aesthetically pleasing. University of Strathclyde-based startup Metacarpal is trying to bring all three elements together with a new body-powered prosthetic hand.

Quick read

A computer display, whose interface can guide a robotic arm with a magnetic appendage above a model of the colon.
  • Health & medical
  • Technology & robotics
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 94

Perfecting pain-free colonoscopies

Researchers are developing magnetically guided robotic instruments to make colonoscopies less painful for patients.

Quick read

  • Civil & structural
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch

The startup purifying water in partnership with low-income communities

Access to clean water is a fundamental human need, yet hundreds of millions worldwide go without it. Cambridge-based social enterprise Blue Tap has one solution – a low-cost device that purifies water by precisely injecting chlorine into a local water supply.

Two men stand either side of a dialysis machine
  • Health & medical
  • Profiles
  • Issue 93

The journey to portable dialysis

Professor Clive Buckberry FREng believes that successful engineering needs an injection of artistic thinking, along with a dose of physics and the ability to use pictures to make a point.

Quick read

White-painted ventilation pipework against a white ceiling.
  • Civil & structural
  • Health & medical
  • Opinion
  • Issue 90

Better buildings need a breath of fresh air

Post-COVID-19, how do we stay safe in winter without throwing open all the windows and cranking up the radiators to max?

A microscopy image of fluorescently stained cancer cells proliferating in a culture dish.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 90

Could organ-on-a-chip technology replace animal testing?

Move over, humble Petri dish. Bioengineers are taking inspiration from electronics manufacturing to make more realistic environments to test new drugs in.

Two ballet dancers dancing in DNANudge's brightly decorated pop up shop.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 90

How lab-on-a-chip tech brought rapid genetic testing to the public

A technology pivot accelerated the return of the Royal Ballet and other cultural institutions during the height of the pandemic, thanks to rapid DNA-turned-COVID-19 testing.

Quick read

  • Chemical
  • Health & medical
  • How does that work?
  • Issue 89

Wastewater epidemiology

Sampling and testing of wastewater is helping governments across the world to track COVID-19 infections on a large scale.

Quick read

  • Health & medical
  • Design & manufacturing
  • How does that work?
  • Issue 87

Lateral flow tests

During the pandemic, millions of people took lateral flow tests every week to detect COVID-19, enabling them to get a result in just 15 minutes.

A photo of a needle going into a small sealed vial containing liquid.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 85

Delivering fast-track COVID-19 vaccines

Typically, it can take up to a decade to develop a vaccine. The COVID-19 pandemic has compressed timelines as groups around the world race to come up with a vaccine. Rachel Jones talked to Dr Donal Cronin FREng, formerly Head of Global Engineering at AstraZeneca, Martin Smith, Head of Manufacturing Sciences and Technology, and Chris Lucas, Chief Operating Officer, both from the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, about the engineering challenges of manufacturing and supplying a COVID-19 vaccine.

Quick read

Sorin Poppa sitting on a chair at a workbench, holding the Pathfinder ePATH catheter kit which is attached to wires on his workbench.
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 84

Reducing surgeries for dialysis patients

Pathfinder Medical has invented a minimally invasive catheter guidance technology that will improve clinical outcomes for patients across the globe.

An illustration of floating circular virus particles with long spikes on the outside.
  • Mechanical
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 83

Responding to a global pandemic with ventilators and PPE

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world. While there has been an enormous amount of disparate work done across the UK, Rachel Jones highlights examples around ventilators and PPE to showcase the different ways the engineering community has responded to the crisis.

A robot on a CT scanner patient table, which has wires and tubing to adjust guidewires and catheters.
  • Technology & robotics
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 83

Robotic assistance in surgery operating theatres

Robotic systems are increasingly in use in all aspects of our work and lives, and hospital settings are no different. Science writer Geoff Watts spoke to the engineers who are providing high-tech support to surgeons, which is making the surgical process simpler, quicker and more efficient.

Quick read

A pregnant women lying down on a hospital bed, talking to a nurse. The women is wearing the Monica Novii wireless patch system on her belly
  • Health & medical
  • Innovation Watch
  • Issue 82

Wireless foetal monitor

The Monica Novii wireless patch system is a wearable device for women in labour that continuously monitors the baby’s heartbeat. It has won many obstetric and engineering awards, including the Campbell Mitchell Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Two medical professionals wearing scrubs looking at a transplant liver in the OrganOx machine. Oxygenated and deoxygenated blood tubing are supplying blood to the liver.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 81

Keeping transplant livers alive

The OrganOx metra® is the world’s first fully automated system for keeping a human donor liver functioning for up to 24 hours outside the body. The invention breaks with 40 years of traditional organ preservation in ice, doubling the length of time that donor organs can be preserved before transplantation. Geoff Watts talked to members of the OrganOx team to find out how this breakthrough came about.

A side-profile X-ray of a head, where wires which are post-operative electrodes have been inserted into the brain.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 80

Bioelectronic devices to treat neurological disorders

Cochlear implants and heart pacemakers have drastically improved the lives of many people with long-term health conditions. Professor Tim Denison looks at implantable medical devices and the engineering behind them as digital technologies and miniaturisation promise to deliver new therapies and help us to understand how the nervous system works.

A person holding an Owlstone Medical device that captures breath samples.
  • Health & medical
  • Issue 77

An easier way to diagnose disease

A breathalyser that can save lives and money won the 2018 MacRobert Award. Breath Biopsy®, the chemical analysis of volatile compounds in exhaled breath, lies behind this innovative approach to medical diagnosis. Science writer Michael Kenward OBE learned about the clever engineering behind the technology and how it is being used to collect and analyse breath samples on a wider scale.

Professor Sir Saeed Zahedi OBE FREng standing on a stage in front of a microphone, giving a talk, with a board saying 'Innovation is great Britain' behind him.
  • Health & medical
  • Profiles
  • Issue 77

Developing the first integrated prosthetic leg

Professor Sir Saeed Zahedi OBE RDI FREng combined his interest in mechanical engineering and medicine during a time where biomedical engineering only had a few research groups. He is now Chief Technology Officer and Technical Director of the Blatchford Group, running a team that developed the first integrated prosthetic leg.