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HPRS2021 Instrumentation, Signal Processing and Imaging

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To ensure that students understand the underpinning principles and properties of the measurement and imaging techniques that underpin investigations in Cardiology, Vascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences. Learning outcomes are guided by the content outlined in the curriculum developed by the DOH (2010, updated Oct 2011) Modernising scientific Careers.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the basic equipment and techniques used within Cardiology, Vascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences, utilising the correct terminology.
  • Analyse the principles of operation of equipment and techniques in each specialism.
  • Discuss the role of each modality in the patient pathway including the main clinical applications.
  • Explain the possible health effects of equipment and techniques used in each specialism.
  • Explain the quality assurance and legislative framework for equipment and techniques in each specialism.
  • Critically evaluate the risks and benefits related to equipment and techniques
  • Systematically analyse available data sets (quantitative and qualitative) which underpin the practice of healthcare science and with particular reference to this module’s content
  • Critically appraise professional journal articles and associated literature using established appraisal tools


Learning outcomes are met through coverage of the following topics: Mathematical concepts Fundamental and derived physical quantities and their units Basic mechanics Concepts of impedance Time and frequency domains Linearity and nonlinearity, distortion Equipment functions and characteristics, Equipment safety, Application and choice of equipment, Amplifier characteristics and functions, Noise and noise reduction, Operation, specifications, advantages and limitations of filters, Digitisation of signals, Computer acquisition, storage and analysis of physiological signals, Measurement techniques underpinning the measure of: - Volume and flow measuring devices used to measure dynamic lung volumes and flows and static lung volumes - Respiratory Gas Analysis - Pulse oximetry - Airflow, respiratory effort, body position, sound during sleep - Electrocardiography - Blood pressure measurement - Imaging techniques including ultrasound, XRay, CT, MRI, isotopes Hazards and safe use of imaging techniques.

Special Features

This module aims to ensure students not only gain underpinning knowledge relevant to their specialism but are also able to apply concepts in a way that enhances their practice. Theoretical concepts are applied in practical sessions, case studies are discussed in groups and students are encouraged to draw upon their own prior knowledge and experience gained either during placement or elsewhere. Students will draw upon a wide variety of information sources such as research papers, professional recommendations and books to ensure that they have an awareness of latest best practice and develop an ability to continue the process independently. The modules is delivered by nationally leading lecturer’s with experience of developing and using medical devices in a healthcare environment. Drawing upon this experience enables problems typically encountered in practice to be discussed thereby better preparing students for their role.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials, case studies, self-directed learning, use of the Faculty virtual learning environment (Blackboard) and the collaborative sharing of experience from practice placements and other experiential learning. A key element of this module is to ensure students gain hands-on experience with instrumentation and signal processing equipment in order to ensure they are able to apply theoretical concepts.

Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Follow-up work60
Practical classes and workshops6
Completion of assessment task55
Wider reading or practice120
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

IEEE transactions on medical imaging, IEEE. 

Instrumentation and measurement magazine, Elsevier. 

For resources which are required or considered useful for the module: key texts, text books, data books, software, web sites, other sources of related information.. 

Brown, B.H., Smallwood, R.H., Barber, D.C., Lawford, P.V.,Hose D.R., (1998). Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. 

Khandpur. R.S. (2003). Handbook of biomedical instrumentation. 

Cameron J.R., Skofronick, J.G., Grant, R.M., (1999). Physics of the Body. 

Medical engineering and physics, Elsevier. 

Digital signal processing, Elsevier. 

The following equipment is incorporated into the module in quantities that enable students to work in groups of no more than four. • Labtutor and associated hardware (for cardiac and respiratory/sleep practicals) • A Pacing device • A Pressure transducer. 

Annals of biomedical engineering, Springer. 

Greenhalgh, T. (2012). How to read a paper : the basics of evidence-based medicine. 

Instrumentation and measurement magazine.

Allisy-Roberts, P.J., Williams J (2007). Farr's Physics for Medical Imaging. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment  (1500 words) 50%
Written exam  (2 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment  (1500 words) 50%
Written exam  (2 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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