The Clinician Engineer Hub is now active in Cambridge

The Clinician Engineer Hub, an international network aiming to bridge the gap between medicine and engineering, has landed in Cambridge from its Birmingham launch base.

Cambridge now has a Clinician Engineer Hub
Cambridge now has a Clinician Engineer Hub

It started in 2019 as a collaboration between Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Imperial College London and King’s College London and has grown steadily ever since.

The hub provides educational, research and industry opportunities for medical students and physicians interested in developing technical expertise in healthcare. It has received support from multiple institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and the World Health Organization, and its efforts to date have been recognized by The New England Journal of Medicine and The lancet.

Previous educational events have included free winter and summer school programs, where participants spent time in both the hospital and the laboratory. As Covid began to spread the events, they were moved online and remain freely available on the hub’s YouTube channel. This allows individuals worldwide to access content anytime, anywhere at no additional cost. The Hub recognizes that not everyone can afford the cost of training programs and that candidates can benefit greatly in terms of learning if their content is available online. His webinars have seen speakers from Google Health, Amazon, and Microsoft.

Center for Clinical Engineers
Center for Clinical Engineers

Its research activities are in partnership with various laboratory rooms. Many academics have shown great interest in student support and have offered their labs to support the growth of future Clinician Engineers. Recently, for example, clinicians from Qatar University visited labs at Imperial’s Dyson School of Engineering, where they delved deeply into robotics and sensing devices.

The hub has also worked closely with industry partners. One such partner is i3 simulations, which develops immersive technologies to enhance healthcare provider education.

The founder and director of the center, Dr. Neel Sharma, works at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He said: “’Cambridge is home to Silicon Fen with numerous technology-based companies. The environment is simply perfect for the further expansion of the hub. It’s an exciting time for innovation at the clinical engineering interface and I’m confident there will be many more opportunities to come for physicians who wish to pursue a clinical engineering career.

Clinicians are working on a health problem at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to find a technical solution
Clinicians are working on a health problem at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to find a technical solution

He added: “We constantly use a range of medical tools to diagnose and treat patients, from pacemakers to ventilators and dialysis machines, but often we don’t know how and why they work. As physicians, we experience first-hand limitations in diagnosing or treating patients. However, this knowledge falls short without sufficient engineering know-how. The Clinician Engineer Hub is an opportunity for future physicians and engineers to collaborate and better understand how each discipline can influence and inform the other for better long-term patient outcomes.”

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