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Expert highlights benefits of bioengineering R&D in healthcare
Dr. Justin Wade Fernandez of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) University of Auckland highlighted the benefits and applications of bioengineering research during the hybrid seminar entitled, “Medical Imaging in Bioengineering,” on 29 June 2022.
With support from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the seminar was organized by the De La Salle University Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Health Technology (DLSU IBEHT) as part of the IBEHT Research Talk Series which aims to contribute in building the capacities of Filipino biomedical researchers.
In his talk, Dr. Fernandez presented modalities in medical imaging that can be further explored for greater benefits in healthcare. The highlighted modalities─ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-ray fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT) scan, and functional MRI─ could be used in gait analysis or the analysis of a person’s posture and manner of walking, in implant and prosthetic development, and in the analysis of brain activity for psychological applications, and artificial intelligence for health, among other possible benefits.
To ensure positive impact to end users, Dr. Fernandez stressed that researchers in the fields of health and engineering must collaborate in generating health innovations. “We want to find out what is the clinical problem, what is the heart of the challenge that the clinician faces, what is it that they currently do in practice,” he said, emphasizing the importance of awareness of on-ground experiences in medical practice to bridge healthcare gaps through bioengineering.
Aside from opportunities in R&D, biomedical engineering, particularly in the IBEHT, also has the potential for commercialization and the creation of spin-off companies, according to Dr. Fernandez.
To conclude the seminar, the DOST-PCHRD, through its Research Information, Communication, and Utilization Division (RICUD) Chief Ms. Ullyann C. Garcia, expressed the Council’s commitment to support efforts towards bioengineering R&D for health. “It is my hope that, based on the information established through this seminar, we will be able to respond together to the issues in the country’s health system that we face collectively,” said Ms. Garcia. “I am confident that by working in solidarity, we will be able to achieve our shared objectives using the concepts of medical imaging,” she added.
Through further partnerships with the ABI and the DOST-PCHRD, the DLSU IBEHT plans to explore more R&D and capacity building opportunities for Philippine biomedical engineering researchers.