January/February 2014

Cover Story

When it comes to biomedical engineering (BME) today, innovation might just be the most important buzzword around. That’s not because it happens to be the trend of the day across industries already; it’s because in the face of skyrocketing healthcare costs, a rapidly aging global population, and multiplying cases of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, we have no other choice. If our goal is ultimately to create a healthier, more vibrant global society, we must innovate—and radically. ... Read more

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Editorial Blogs


Colin J.H. Brenan Joins IEEE PULSE as new EIC

Beginning in January 2014, Colin Brenan succeeds Mike Neuman as editor-in-chief (EIC) of IEEE Pulse, and on his a...

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Mathematical Models for Society and Biology, 2nd Ed.

This 12-chapter text has the goal of showing how mathematics can illuminate fascinating problems drawn from society and biology. Each chapter takes a particular mathematical topic and applies it to one or more problems in society or biology. ... Read more

Modeling and Simulation in Biomedical Engineering: Applications in Cardiorespiratory Physiology

Modeling and simulation have developed into indispensable disciplines in many fields including the physiological sciences; yet, there are few accessible texts available that teach the model building process in a methodical way for the physiological model developer. This text fills that need admirably.... Read more

High-Tech Sports is Here, but Needs Better Integration

If I were writing about technology in sports five years ago, I would have focused on various innovative measuring devices such as wearable technology, wireless sensors and heads-up displays. But the world moves fast, and technology even faster.... Read more

Spirometry: A Historical Gallery Up to 1905

In Latin, spirare means to breathe, hence, spirometry deals with the measurement of breath, which is the most common way to evaluate pulmonary function. Volume or flow of inhaled or exhaled air is so quantified offering values that permit an assessment of respiratory performance in health and disease. Asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, obstructive lung pathologies can be gauged in their respective stages. It is an old procedure, still in use, simple and inexpensive, but highly significant in health care.... Read more

Faith in Science

Faith is the desire to believe in something as true, or, if not absolutely true, then at least dependable. Faith seems to have been promoted through evolutionary trends, and, as such, it is a concoction of deep brain processes. Related to faith is the concept of truth. Truth is an ephemeral mental construct. We each have some idea of the meaning of truth. Most of the time, our ideas of truth reduce to what we are willing to believe through faith. Truth, in other words, can come from the words of our parents, instructors in our schools... Read more

IEEE EMBS International Student Conference

The first IEEE EMBS International Student Conference (ISC2013) was held 8-10 October 2013 at Cairo University, Egypt. The conference was intended to provide a forum for students to meet each other and exchange experiences at the local, regional, and international levels, as well as offer both undergraduate and postgraduate students an opportunity to practice, first hand, the process of scientific research and publication. ISC2013 was a “by students for students” event in that students served as the organizers, speakers, reviewers,... Read more

Preparing for Global Healthcare Innovation: Virtual Capstone Design Teams

Global healthcare innovation requires collaboration between groups of people located in different parts of the world, and as such, this type of distance collaboration is a growing trend in industry. Often, team members from various departments of a global organization who need to work together to design, develop, and introduce new products are not in the same location. For example, R&D personnel may be located in the United States, the production facility may be located in Ireland, and other key personnel may be located in Singapore. ... Read more

Reflections on the First IEEE EMBS International Summer School on Neural Engineering – Shanghai, China

The inaugural IEEE EMBS International Summer School on Neural Engineering (ISSNE) was held in at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China on 7-14 July 2013. ISSNE’13 is the fifth summer school hosted by IEEE EMBS and featured biannually. This first edition was locally organized by the IEEE EMBS Shanghai Chapter and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and was co-sponsored by IEEE EMBS, Ministry of Education of China, Shanghai Municipal Education Committee, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.... Read more

Frugal Innovations for Global Health

Global health opens up a plethora of opportunities, yet it encompasses in itself myriad of challenges. Biomedical engineering students should embrace these challenges and make the most out of them through innovative projects aimed at solving real world problems. An interesting observation when one sees the whole domain of biomedical innovations is that, many innovations have been stemming out of emerging economies, rather than only from the richly-funded laboratories of the developed nations. As it has been said, “necessity is the m... Read more

EMBS at Half a Century

I had an occasion recently to give a short talk describing the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) to students and faculty and the University of Florida. In looking over background material, I came to appreciate how deep and long the roots of our society travel and how strong and wide it currently stands.... Read more

Triple Threat

The start of my second year of graduate school has brought some refreshing changes. I no longer walk into lab any more with the paralyzing fear that I do not know anything or know how to do anything. Now, I at least vaguely know some of the lab's techniques, I know where to find most supplies, and I can usually follow along for a good portion of my colleague’s presentations at lab meeting. All of these things are great accomplishments in hindsight after thinking about where I was a year ago.... Read more

Women in Leadership: Goldilocks Syndrome

Most children have probably heard the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A young girl with golden hair wanders into the empty house of three different bears—one small, one large, and one sized in-between. She comes upon a table with three bowls of cooling porridge, and upon sampling each one, discovers successively that the first is too hot, the second too cold, and the third just right. She eats all of the porridge in the third bowl. The same happens when she comes upon three chairs, and finally, three beds. The ... Read more