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The University of Southampton

ISVR6144 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering

Module Overview

Biomedical Engineering is an exciting and multidisciplinary field that combines expertise in a wide range of engineering techniques, anatomy and physiology, medicine, healthcare and the personal and societal context in which patients and their carers live, and in which health-services and the healthcare industry operates. This module aims to provide an overview of technologies, and provide an awareness of the diverse challenges that form the background to research, development and use of Healthcare Technologies.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe and explain key healthcare technologies for diagnosis, monitoring, therapy and as prostheses (including implantable devices and artificial organs) and for the discovery of new knowledge in medicine and biology.
  • Analyse key issues in the design of medical devices, including specification, regulatory frameworks, safety and ethics and usability
  • Critically assess societal implications of healthcare technology, including economics and healthcare policy and patient and carer experience.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professional and ethical conduct in Biomedical Engineering
  • Demonstrate self-study and communication skills in a multidisciplinary environment


1. Key fields and technologies in biomedical engineering, such as a. Diagnostic ◦ Sensors/transducers. ◦ Instruments and devices. ◦ Microfluidics. ◦ Imaging. ◦ Signal processing. b. Therapeutic ◦ Stimulators (deep brain, FES ...). ◦ Ultrasound. ◦ Robotics for rehabilitation c. Prosthetic ◦ Implantable devices: - Auditory. - Stents. - Orthopedics: ◦ Hearing aids. ◦ Artificial organs. d. Assisted living e. Knowledge generation ◦ Physiology/anatomy/pharmacology. ◦ Modelling/in-Silica medicine. 2. Introduction to principles of governance a. Ethics. b. Safety/Risk-assessment. c. Safeguarding/DBS etc. d. Data protection/anonymization. e. Regulatory framework for medical devices. 3. Patient and carer experience. a. What is good/bad technology? b. Health and disability. c. Personalized medicine. d. Public and Patient Involvement (PPI). e. Introduction to evidence-based practice. 4. Design of medical technologies a. Co-design in health-care technologies. b. Assessing usability. 5. Health care policy and economics a. Introduction to healthcare technology assessment. b. Economic contribution of medical technologies.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

1. Lectures by module staff and invited specialists. 2. Flipped classroom interactive learning and discussion. 3. Problem-based learning in groups (with assignment). 4. Stuctured meetings/discussion with patients, carers and health-care professionals. 5. Project work: Designing a biomedical engineering device – more than just the latest technology (with report).

Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Independent Study30
Follow-up work5
Practical classes and workshops4
Completion of assessment task30
Wider reading or practice15
Project supervision5
Supervised time in studio/workshop2
External visits3
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources which are required/ or useful. Existing library books on biomedical engineering (a few new titles and increased numbers for some current titles will be required). Transport for off-site visits Journals currently in the library. Project work: technical support for design and mock-ups (if appropriate).





MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & 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:

Travel Costs for placements

Students may need to pay for transport for off-site visits, with costs below £50. If DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service – i.e. assessing criminal records) check is required, this will cost approximately £44 (2016)

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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