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The University of Southampton

HPRS2021 Instrumentation, Signal Processing and Imaging

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

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.

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.

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

Resources & Reading list

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

Digital signal processing, Elsevier. 

Instrumentation and measurement magazine, Elsevier. 

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

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

IEEE transactions on medical imaging, IEEE. 

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.. 

Medical engineering and physics, Elsevier. 

Annals of biomedical engineering, Springer. 

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

Instrumentation and measurement magazine.

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

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, instrumentation, stand and consumables (saline) • A Test filter, Oscillator, Oscilloscope and associated leads • An Electrocardiograph, Oscillator, Oscilloscope and associated leads • Prototyping circuits, batteries, components, test devices • An Ambulatory ECG device • Pulse Oximeters • Spirometers. 





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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