University of Oulu

De Maria, C., Díaz Lantada, A., Jämsä, T. et al. Biomedical engineering in low- and middle-income settings: analysis of current state, challenges and best practices. Health Technol. 12, 643–653 (2022).

Biomedical engineering in low- and middle-income settings : analysis of current state, challenges and best practices

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Author: De Maria, Carmelo1; Lantada, Andrés Diaz2; Jämsä, Timo3,4;
Organizations: 1Research Center E. Piaggio and Dpt of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
2Mechanical Engineering Dpt, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
3Physics and Technology, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-12


Supporting the expansion of best practices in Biomedical Engineering (BME) can facilitate pathway toward the providing universal health coverage and more equitable and accessible healthcare technologies, especially in low- and middle-income (LMI) settings. These best practices can act as drivers of change and may involve scientific-technological issues, human intervention during technology development, educational aspects, social performance management for improved interactions along the medical technology life cycle, methods for managing resources and approaches for the establishment of regulatory frameworks.

The aim of our study was to identify weaknesses and strengths of the scientific, technological, socio-political, regulatory and educational landscape in BME in LMI resource settings. We thus analysed the current state-of-the-art through six dimensions considered fundamental for advancing quality and equity in healthcare: 1) relevant and 2) emergent technologies, 3) new paradigms in medical technology development, 4) innovative BME education, 5) regulation and standardization for novel approaches, and 6) policy making. In order to evaluate and compare their relevance, maturity and implementation challenges, they were assessed through a questionnaire to which 100 professionals from 35 countries with recognized experience in the field of BME and its application to LMI settings responded.

The results are presented and discussed, highlighting the main challenges and pinpointing relevant areas where intervention, including local lobbying and international promotion of best practices is necessary. We were also able to identify areas where minimal effort is required to make big changes in global health.

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Series: Health and technology
ISSN: 2190-7188
ISSN-E: 2190-7196
ISSN-L: 2190-7188
Volume: 12
Pages: 643 - 653
DOI: 10.1007/s12553-022-00657-8
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
Funding: CDM and AA acknowledge the support of the University of Pisa Project PRA2020 “mOSAIc: Open Source as key enabling approach for Artificial Intelligence in healthcare”. LP received funding from the University of Warwick via two Warwick Impact Found grants, respectively supported by the EPSRC Impact Accelerator Award EP/K503848/1 and EP/R511808/1.
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