September/October 2021

Working Toward Diversity and Inclusion in Neural Engineering

Author(s)3: Junio Alves de Lima, Ashley Dalrymple, Maria Jantz, Chantel Charlebois, Cynthia Weber
Working Toward Diversity and Inclusion in Neural Engineering 500 330 IEEE Pulse
How do we begin to consider ways to broaden the reach of our field, both to engage younger students and also those from different ethnicities, classes, and socio-economic backgrounds? Where are the opportunities to make our research, our laboratory, our surrounding community more open, inclusive, and diverse? By what means can we increase outreach in our communities, providing avenues for diverse students to explore STEM topics and engage in research? read more

Meeting the Green Health Challenge

Author(s)3: Pamela Reynolds
Meeting the Green Health Challenge 500 312 IEEE Pulse
Given the urgency of our climate change problem, a trip to the hospital can be more than just a bit disconcerting for what it reveals about waste. From disposable blood pressure cuffs and one-use plastic medical gowns to powerful air filtration systems that consume immense quantities of energy, waste seems rife. Hospitals might argue that many of these measures are necessary to tamp down hospital-acquired infections, and indeed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has required that hospitals dial up their air purification systems to battle COVID-19. read more

Stem Cell Update: Where Are We Now?

Author(s)3: Mary Bates
Stem Cell Update: Where Are We Now? 500 300 IEEE Pulse
Since stem cells give rise to all the different cell types that make up our bodies, they have the potential to repair or replace cells that are missing or dysfunctional in a wide range of diseases and injuries. In recent years, an explosion of clinical trials involving stem cell therapies has inspired hope that such regenerative strategies may soon cure some of our most vexing diseases. Before that hope is realized, we will need a greater understanding of the fundamentals of stem cell biology as well as the specifics of different disease processes. Although the challenges seem daunting, stem cell research is rapidly advancing and ushering in a new era of regenerative medicine. read more

AI, Virtual Reality, and Robots Advancing Autism Diagnosis and Therapy

Author(s)3: Leslie Mertz
AI, Virtual Reality, and Robots Advancing Autism Diagnosis and Therapy 500 315 IEEE Pulse
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a challenge in multiple ways. Just getting diagnosed can take months of visits to doctors and specialists. After the diagnosis, children are often put on long waiting lists to begin therapy, which itself consists of frequent sessions that while helpful, are usually quite taxing for both the children and their parents. And while child-directed therapies are available, adults who are on the spectrum often find little continuing support. Recent technologies are using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), virtual reality (VR), and other advanced methods to address all of those issues with faster and easier diagnostics, and in-home therapeutic approaches designed for all ages. read more

COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Health

Author(s)3: Jennifer Berglund
COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Health 500 281 IEEE Pulse
In late February 2020, a time when severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19) still felt like an abstraction in the United States, New York City’s first infected patient was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital’s emergency room. Working a few doors down was Sean Pinney, the Director of Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation. Little did he know, but “that night was the beginning of hell,” he said. read more

Getting Past the Know-It-All Stage

Author(s)3: Art Johnson
Getting Past the Know-It-All Stage 150 150 IEEE Pulse
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Most of us have heard of this admonition, and it applies directly to engineering education. It turns out that people who know just a little about a subject greatly overestimate their understanding and abilities. “The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their own skills”. read more

Student Leaders Today, Professional Leaders Tomorrow

Author(s)3: Jingzhi An, Ayanna Johnson, Satwik Dutta
Student Leaders Today, Professional Leaders Tomorrow 150 150 IEEE Pulse
One of the core missions of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) is to be a platform for enhancing the personal and professional development of its members. This month we focus on two related priority areas of the IEEE EMBS Student Activities Committee (SAC) [1], namely Leadership Development and Professional Development Portfolios, and bring you up close to the student and professional leaders actively building these programs. The Leadership Development Portfolio, currently led by Agnieszka Łach from Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland, focuses on nurturing and supporting student leaders of the EMBS globally. The Professional Development Portfolio, currently led by Josée Rosset from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, aims to help EMBS student members develop their skills and experiences in the practice of biomedical engineering. read more

Updating Design Faculty Industry Experience

Author(s)3: Jay Goldberg
Updating Design Faculty Industry Experience 150 150 IEEE Pulse
Most biomedical engineering students around the country will eventually end up working for a medical device company. For this reason, biomedical engineering capstone design courses should not only provide students with a hands-on design experience, but they should also prepare students for careers in the medical device industry. These courses should be relevant and up to date to reflect current design trends, processes, and practices followed in industry. read more