The Silicon Review
Dr. Chyu founded the Healthcare Engineering Alliance Society (HEALS), where he leads more than 15,000 members and followers working on bridging the gaps between healthcare and engineering, advancing healthcare through engineering, and promoting collaborative and innovative exchanges between healthcare and engineering. It is a well-known fact that engineering, in general, has been playing an important role in serving healthcare by bringing about revolutionary advancements in healthcare. Many healthcare problems benefit from engineering solutions, while many advancements in healthcare stem from breakthroughs in engineering/technology. Healthcare engineering encompasses engineering involved in all aspects of healthcare. Dr. Chyu, supported by 40 expert co-authors worldwide, first defined Healthcare Engineering in a milestone whitepaper and on the current Wikipedia profile. Dr. Chyu’s definition and contributions continue to serve as the cornerstone for developing this unique and groundbreaking sector.
A few words on Dr. Chyu by notable personalities:
“Dr. Chyu has been a pioneer in the field of healthcare engineering and was one of the early advocates for applying engineering practices to efforts to enhance the delivery of healthcare.” - James P. Bagian, MD, PE, US National Academy of Medicine, US National Academy of Engineering, former NASA Astronaut.
“Dr. Chyu may have already secured a historical position in the development of healthcare engineering.” - Fazle Hussain, PhD, US National Academy of Engineering, The World Academy of Science
Advent and Motivation
For years, Dr. Chyu has been dedicated to bridging the gaps between healthcare and engineering. He has helped medical doctors and other healthcare professionals who, based on their clinical experience/expertise, have developed inventions to the extent that need help from engineers, researchers, consultants, or companies to elevate to a level closer to manufacturing and commercialization. On the other hand, Dr. Chyu has helped engineers, engineering professors/researchers, and companies connect with clinicians to make sure their inventions/products can really benefit patient outcomes. Based on such experience, Dr. Chyu established a platform that allows healthcare professionals, engineers, researchers, inventors, consultants, entrepreneurs, and companies to collaborate on projects leading to the commercialization of new medical devices and technologies.
The main function of the platform is to compile a number of technical projects that address the unmet needs in patient care, mostly originating from clinicians, engineers, and medical device/technology companies seeking collaborations on the conceptualization, research, design, prototyping, testing, clinical trial, regulation compliance, FDA clearance/approval, manufacture, capital funding, etc. Furthermore, this platform provides excellent opportunities for engineering students to learn by working with clinicians, engineers, and companies on real-world healthcare projects. As a powerful tool for the invention and development of new medical devices, Dr. Chyu has established a comprehensive, user-friendly medical device platform that provides systematic state-of-the-technology information for all medical devices (currently over 210,000), including the most recent, cleared/approved by FDA.
For engineering researchers conducting healthcare research, it is often a dilemma when searching for the right venue to publish their results. Their papers might be rejected by engineering journals for too much healthcare content and hard to find qualified engineering reviewers to review their manuscripts. On the other hand, they might be also rejected by healthcare/biomedical journals for too much engineering content and no qualified reviewers. The same problem faces healthcare/biomedical researchers trying to publish their engineering papers. To deal with such issues, Dr. Chyu has founded and served as the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Healthcare Engineering. It is one of the first journals that publish scientific articles on the intersection of healthcare and engineering. It also encourages collaborative research in this field, focusing on the impact on patient outcomes. Ming has also introduced the Healthcare Engineering Online Communities, bringing healthcare and engineering communities together and providing updated information about more than 500 topics from artificial intelligence to 3D printing for surgery, engineering for cancer diagnosis, and nanomedicine.
Meticulously bridging the gap
Dr. Chyu has made significant contributions to helping engineering students and young engineers succeed in the healthcare industry, and helping the healthcare industry recruit qualified engineers. The healthcare industry needs more qualified engineers from various engineering disciplines in terms of both quantity and quality. However, as a major issue, most existing engineering curricula (particularly undergraduate ones) cover very little or no healthcare/biomedicine, except biomedical engineering. Still, the healthcare industry needs to hire far more engineers from other engineering disciplines than biomedical engineering, particularly computer, chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineers.
Dr. Chyu founded a program to bridge such a gap. The program invites medical doctors with expertise in healthcare engineering and medical technology innovation, particularly those few MDs with engineering degrees, to deliver lectures to engineering students. The topics of focus are healthcare issues and problems that need engineering solutions to improve patient outcomes directly. Engineering leaders from the healthcare industry are also invited as guest speakers, particularly in the medical device/technology sector, as well as medical school professors with degrees in engineering. These experts with dual expertise are most effective in teaching healthcare to engineering students.
In helping prepare engineering students for jobs in healthcare, Dr. Chyu also developed a healthcare engineering certificate program featuring the innovative “Cutting-Edge Courses Customized” (CeCoCu), which allows individuals to self-decide the course topic, objectives, and scope of their learning, based on their backgrounds, interests, career strategies, and market opportunities. This certificate program was also designed to help practicing engineers transition from other sectors of industry to healthcare, as well as help healthcare professionals (physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, etc.) learn to apply engineering to their practice, problem-solving, and advancing healthcare. Dr. Chyu works with healthcare engineering professionals and industry leaders on how to train engineering students for healthcare jobs better and helps university professors and administrators improve their curricula.
Path ahead for Healthcare Engineering
The healthcare industry is expected to remain to be one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries, and the demand for Healthcare Engineering professionals will continue to grow accordingly. As healthcare changes rapidly and becomes increasingly complex under technological, economic, social, regulatory, and pandemic impacts, it is anticipated that Healthcare Engineering will play a role of growing importance in almost every aspect of healthcare and will also be a major factor that advances healthcare. Healthcare Engineering professionals will face challenges associated with issues such as the continued rise in healthcare costs, the quality and safety of healthcare, management of common diseases and pandemics, care of the aging population, the impact of high technology, increasing demand for regulatory compliance, risk management, and reducing litigation risk. They will play a key role in creating, developing, and implementing cutting-edge devices and systems attributed to advances in electronics, information technology, miniaturization, material science, optics, and other fields. As technology continues to create new areas for engineers to work in healthcare, and the fusion of engineering with health sciences leads to a greater demand for engineers, Healthcare Engineering will be recognized as one of the most important professions where engineers make major contributions directly benefiting human health.