The three areas of professional application for biomedical engineering are industry, healthcare, and research, development and innovation.
In the industrial sector, based on the structure presented in the White Paper for the field of medical devices, published in 2001 by the Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies, with the support of the ministries of Science and Technology and Health and Consumption, the main sub-sectors that show a demand for biomedical engineering professionals are:
- In vitro diagnostics
- Cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery and pain treatment
- Implants for orthopedic surgery and traumatology
- Single-use medical devices
- Health services
- Dental technology
- Optics and ophthalmology
According to Medistat data, of the 800 public hospitals in Spain, only 250 employ technical staff that fulfil the majority of maintenance tasks. The acquisition, maintenance, operation and rationalization of technology, strongly associated with increased efficiency and improved quality of care, are tasks generally distributed among numerous staff members (managers, department heads and various health personnel). Furthermore, standard training is generally provided by the sales staff of product distributors.
In this environment, Biomedical Engineering graduates with the knowledge and skills to define optimum policies for the specific requirements of individual healthcare centres will have a key role to play in simplifying and improving the current situation.
Research, development and innovation
New graduates in Biomedical Engineering are required to join internationally renowned research groups at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and in university centres. The master's programme is designed to match the scientific sector's demands for research, development and innovation.
Scientific activity in biomedical engineering is grouped, in accordance with industry journals and conferences, in the following major areas: bioelectronics, biomaterials, biomechanics, biosystems, biomedical imaging, nanobioengineering, biomedical signals and medical technology.