What does a software engineer in biomedicine do? It may be easier to list what a software engineer in biomedicine does not do. According to the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), engineering in biomedicine is a fast growing specialty and lucrative career path for engineers. Software engineers are important in many facets of biomedical engineering and science. Most medical devices require software to function. Developing and maintaining that software is an important job of the biomedical software engineer. Biomedical researchers look to software engineers to develop algorithms for data analysis and biological system modeling. Software engineers are important in the clinical setting, developing systems that aid the clinician in medical records, patient diagnosis, patient monitoring, and clinical decision making. These are just a few examples of the type of work a software engineer can do in biomedicine.
Image and Signal Processing
There is a great need for software engineers in the field of image and signal processing for biomedicine. Complex imaging systems such as CT and MRI devices depend on software to create images from complex signals. Software engineers also help in the development of improved video compression algorithms. Software is required for the processing of telemetered signals from medical devices such as pacemakers and implanted drug pumps. This software allows clinicians to obtain critical information from their patients non-invasively. Biomedical software engineers help develop complex signal processing algorithms to interpret biological signals such as cardiac and neurological signals in order to better monitor and care for patients. The design and development of processing algorithms in these areas is a vibrant and exciting field for the biomedical software engineer.
Software engineers are involved in the collection and analysis of biomedical information collected by clinicians and researchers. Software engineers play a vital role in the development and implementation of sophisticated data analysis algorithms. Software engineers also play an important role in developing models of biomedical processes. These models serve as research, teaching and diagnostic tools for the biomedical scientist and physician. Data analysis and modeling software can be used in the areas of gene mapping, public health research, and more.
Software engineers are needed for the development and implementation of algorithms used in a variety of ways to aid clinicians in patient care. Virtual reality systems are valuable in diagnostics and teaching. Software engineers may work on artificial intelligence algorithms which aid in diagnostics and decision making in patient care. Software engineering is important in developing security algorithms to protect medical records and other sensitive information in the hospital setting.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, engineering employment in biomedicine is expected to grow 27 percent by the year 2022. Software engineers will be a large part of that employment growth. Whether is in the hospital setting, the research laboratory, or the biomedical device industry, the biomedical software engineer plays an important role in the development of the latest medical technology. If the question is: what does a software engineer in biomedicine do – the answer is the software engineer uses software design and development knowledge to further medical technology.