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The University of Southampton

HPRS2030 Instrumentation, Signal Processing and Imaging

Module Overview

Medical Devices lie at the heart of all measurements performed by Clinical Physiologists and correct use is therefore essential to providing a high quality service. This module will introduce you to the principles of operation of common devices that you will use in your practice. You will learn how to measure their performance and determine if it is acceptable for clinical use. You will discuss how performance can be optimised through calibration, quality assurance and standard operating procedures and consider risks. This module has a strong emphasis on application to practice, taking simple scientific concepts and translating them to the particular device being studied.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain, using the correct terminology, the basic equipment / techniques used within the HCS specialisms of Cardiology, Vascular, Respiratory and Sleep Sciences
  • Analyse the principles of operation of equipment and techniques in each specialism
  • Critically evaluate the risks and benefits related to equipment and techniques, including safety
  • Discuss and justify the quality assurance (and if applicable legislative) framework for equipment and techniques in each specialism
  • 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


- 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 - Fluid flow through tubes: Poiseuille’s Law, laminar and turbulent flow, blood flow - Differentiation of volume and integration of flow signals - Digitisation of signals - Computer acquisition, storage and analysis of physiological signals Techniques underpinning: - volume and flow measuring devices used to measure dynamic lung volumes and flows and static lung volumes - respiratory gas analysis - pulse oximetry - positive airway pressure therapy - airflow, pulse oximetry, respiratory effort, body position, sound during sleep - electrocardiography - blood pressure measurement - imaging techniques including ultrasound, X-ray, computerised tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), isotopes - Hazards and safe of use of imaging techniques

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, tutorials, case studies, practical's, demonstrations, 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 you are able to apply theoretical concepts to your daily placement practice.

Independent Study315
Total study time375

Resources & Reading list

John G Webster. Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design. 

Raghbir Singh Khandpur. Handbook of biomedical instrumentation. 

Stella Cottrell. The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills). 

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

Trisha Greenhalgh. How to read a paper : the basics of evidence-based medicine. 

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



Written assignment


MethodPercentage contribution
Case study 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Case study 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no additional costs for this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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