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Master's in Electromagnetics for Biomedical Devices?

  1. Jan 17, 2016 #1
    My ultimate goal is to come out with the knowledge of being able to create electronic non-invasive medical devices. I'm more interested, in say, detecting chemical compounds in the blood.

    From the course listing, it seems that Electromagnetics will prepare me for creating antennas, wireless communication devices, etc. There is one course that has to do with EM wave propagation through media, such as geophysical and biological. But how useful do you think learning EM will be for my goal?

    Or do you think I should choose a different track, but take electives in EM?

    I would have chosen Biomedical for my Master's but I'm a bit put off since my undergrad is in Biomedical, and I feel it's too broad to really be useful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2016 #2
    Does this mean you have narrowed down your choices since you asked a similar question last July?

    Your goal is to work as a medical device designer, with an emphasis in non-implantable medical electronics. Since this is my field, it warms my heart to see a student interested in the kind of thing I do. I think the best thing to do is to ask you some questions to help you sharpen your inquiry into which program or emphasis you should choose:
    • Do you know what design control is? Design control is an integral part of designing a medical device, and you will be much more valuable in this field if you learn it in school. Good BioMed programs do this. If for some reason you missed it in undergrad, you should rectify this before you look for a job.
    • Do you know what software quality assurance [SQA] means in the medical device world? This is a critical skill for medical electronics design, and it has it's own special flavor in this field. Learn what this means if you do not already know.
    • What prior art is there in your field of interest? For subject matter knowledge, I recommend looking at courses related to medical imaging. There may not be this kind of course where you want to go to school, but you can probably find something related to the design of fluoroscopes, CT, or ultrasound. There is a lot of existing work in transmitting waves of various types through the human body.
  4. Jan 18, 2016 #3
    1) I believe I know what design control is, but I've never taken a class specifically dedicated to that. However, we did go over FDA regulations, what would would constitute Class 1-3 devices, experiemental ethics, and the Geneva Convention.

    2) I didn't know what SQA meant until now. I've only taken an intro course to C++ programming.

    3) I've gone partway through an EDX medical imaging course that goes through the various modalities and their principles. I'm mostly interested in the physics and operations of them, rather than image reconstruction. I've also briefly read up on non-invasive ways to measure blood glucose, and there are quite a few patents out there that claim the use magnetic fields to do so. Strangely, I haven't seen any on the market.
  5. Jan 18, 2016 #4
    It sounds like you have a good start then. Your homework is to figure out why a patent doesn't necessarily translate into a product.
  6. Jan 20, 2016 #5
    But do you think that coming out of EM Master's with knowledge in antenna design and EM wave propagation will be beneficial for my goals?
  7. Jan 20, 2016 #6
    I don't have enough subject matter expertise to give you a good answer. It seems plausible to me that you might find some use from that knowledge, but that is always going to be a guess. I do think if you start looking into the subject more deeply, you might be able to discover how useful on your own.
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