Technology and ethics in biomedical electronic devices

Nowadays, damaged or dysfunctional biological structures can be well replaced by biomedical electronic devices. The key enabler for this is the development of advanced electronic systems along with the better understanding of the functionality of organs, muscles and nerves in the human body. Successful examples of such devices are pacemakers and left-ventricular assist devices (LVADs) used to treat heart diseases and prosthetics used to replicate the functionality of legs and arms. However, the development of biomedical devices is always associated not only with technological challenges, but also with ethical considerations:

  • How can the current maturity level of engineering technology help improve the life of patients suffering from various diseases?
  • Where can biomedical devices be found beneficial?
  • How can electric power be supplied to implanted devices?
  • How can communication be established with implanted devices?
  • How can new materials and advanced electronic systems contribute towards the development of the future biomedical devices?
  • Are there any competing concerns when investigating the development and applications of biomedical devices?
  • How ethical is it to develop biomedical devices?
  • Is there any specific law enabling or preventing the development and use of biomedical devices?

Relevant competency

Students with a broad background are welcome, including engineering, biology, and psychology. Groups will be divided keeping a balance of potential perspectives in mind.

About the village

  • Each group will autonomously define its topic within the village, supported by the facilitator team, if required. 
  • The questions raised in the ‘Introduction’ segment in this document are not limiting in their intended scope. Only a birds-eye-view has been provided. Further specifics can be encompassed in the problem definition of individual groups.
  • Required statistics for decision-support are to be collected from databases, consolidated from different publications.

Course Code: TET4853
Village: Technology and ethics in biomedical electronic devices
Type: Semester-based
Language: English
LeaderDimosthenis Peftitsis
Semester: Spring 2019

Important information about EiT:

  • The focus on teamwork skills and group processes is the unique feature of Experts in Teamwork (EiT).
  • EiT's teaching methods depend on the contribution and presence of every participant throughout the semester. For this reason, attendance is compulsory on every village day.
  • In contrast to many courses, the first few days are especially important in EiT. During this period, the team members get to know each other and discuss what each individual can contribute. You will also draw up the compulsory cooperation agreement and start preparing a shared research question.
  • For additional information about Experts in Teamwork, see the page for students.