Biomedical Engineering is the application of engineering principles and rules in the field of medical science for diagnostic, therapeutic reasons and for rehabilitation. As the approach of science is to make a better quality of human life and medical science human can not progress, many decades ago, a doctor thought after watching a big roomful desktop that, if this machine can be used for our analysis purpose, we can progress faster towards killing the diseases. This is how the basic concept Biomedical Engineering took birth. Today, due to complexity of the subjects, Biomedical Engineering has been divided and subdivided in to various streams, most of higher streams needs post doctoral degree, the crude usage of Biomedical Engineering, like producing a hip joint replacement has been pushed towards Instrumental Engineering as we need mass production. Division of Biomedical Engineering, which are associated with mass production of medical devices, like a Pacemaker or a insulin pump, will not be discussed here. These part of Biomedical Engineering is rather crude as they have no connection with the latest hypothesis, research works.
Preface for Biomedical Engineering and Scope of AI
Devices produced by Biomedical Engineering for mass usages, those are prosthesis, mainly used by surgical sciences. There are specific Laws (for US and India, I am not aware of other countries) Medical devices are regulated and usually classified in to categories. First category are nothing but those has very elementary function in human body, if properly not supervised, can be devil – a bandage can be evil if not sterilized properly. Second category is the already approved complicated devices produced for the mass through Biomedical Engineering those includes no-logical devices like a prosthesis for Total Hip Replacement and devices with Fuzzy Logic like a Pacemaker. The usual laws employs Quality Control and proper usage by various methods, for some device implantation, a certified person of the manufacturer company must have to be present physically. The reason is quite obvious, the device might not work properly due to manufacturing defect or might get damaged while in transport.
These are the grocery shop like part of Biomedical Engineering. We basically primed the reader about what is actually done.
Now, the third category has devices that needs a premarket notification or needs more paperworks. This includes the rest which has not sufficient meta analysis data for safety. Let us come to the Artificial Intelligence part. Employing AI, a significant progress can be done (in fact is done) particularly for total limb prosthesis, wheel chairs etc. And our “dangerous” thought of mind uploading is also in the list.
Deploying AI in Biomedical Engineering
I know how actually your index finger moves. But for creating an prosthesis, which will seamlessly work more better than now, needs the knowledge of Mechanical Engineering and most importantly, someone need to code in UNIX to run them, this why Medical computer science took birth separately from Biomedical Engineering.
If the doctor has no idea about these higher knowledge of Biomedical Engineering, computer sciences, the companies will manufacture fake products and push them. The ultimate goal of these companies involved with Biomedical Engineering is to make huge profit. This is marketing part.
The reason to create the branch of Medical computer science is to create some employees who will understand some part of Medical Science. The inventor, frankly the doctor needs no degree, Sir Isaac Newton had no specialty on optics.
Adding AI in Biomedical Engineering does not mean that instantly it will create an artificial limb which will work to defend oneself by hitting, when the person having the implant is sleeping. We will rather try to make the existing simple hip joint prosthesis a bit intelligent – most of these implants gets under attack by the body’s defending cells as they are not of our body parts – you must have heard of transplant rejection. One of my currently attached project is to create small mini-scale robots which will create friendship with the cells of our body !
It seems very difficult, but actually it has an gap of knowledge thats creating a big problem. I mentioned mind uploading for this reason. The patient consciously know that his implant is for good. His brain has the record. There is an communication gap as these protective cells are primitive, like amoeba. But they work following ant colony theory. Like Dr. Ray rightly said, they must have some fuzzy logic of their own, which we do not know still.