Dr. J. -C. Chiao, is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Texas - Arlington. He chaired one of the sessions at the Conference on Biomedical Wireless Technologies. Dr Chiao gives us his view on coming breakthroughs in the use of wireless technologies in medical applications.
What do you see as the next big thing in medical applications of wireless technology?
Dr. J.C. Chiao:
My Perspective on the breakthroughs are in two different levels. In the application levels, many researchers have made their way into clinical setting is quite obvious for everyone; the engineer, the doctors, nurses, hospital administrator, policy maker and insurance carrier that making medical implant devices and systems wireless have tremendous merits. Not only does the wireless device untether the patient from instruments making it possible to monitor patients 24 hours a day 7 days a week, making the patient feel comfortable and mobile and lets the patient resume normal daily life. And it also receives accurate readings continuously not just a snapshot of the condition or disease at the moment when we visit the doctor and but also the technology unclutter the hospital and emergency rooms, reduce doctor and nurses workloads so they can focus on the urgent issues and make monitoring a large population of patients easier and more efficient. Especially we are in an aging society. So I think utilizing wireless communication and wireless power in medical systems will be a steady trend. Although it seems quite straight forward, it's not easy considering different disease will have different requirements for the implants or devices. Technical challenges still remain such as antenna configuration, antenna size, device size, form factor, implant delivery methods, power consumption, radio frequency power, long term implant issues, standards, protocols and the comfort level of patents and doctors and all these factors are good challenges to solve for us in the future.
On a different level, on the research level, existing medical applications will benefit continuously from advance microwave and radio frequency research such as MRI and functional MRI, microwave hypothermia, microwave ablation. I think their benefit has been identified and so much more advances will come out in the near future and there are many emerging technology that will probably make a difference in future medicine; microwave imaging for breast and skin cancer diagnosis radio radar monitoring of patient vital sign, radar assisted radiation treatment in vivo monitoring of physiological and biochemical parameters, using microwave and millimeter wave terahertz signals to interrogate cells to understand cell properties and use the cell property to distinguish cancerous or non cancerous cells and do this in vivo or in vitro or doing it using endoscopic probe inside the patient or use patient specimen in a microfluidic device and using radio frequency to inhibit tumor growth or use millimeter wave for tissue or mod cell stimulation and this research is just on the horizon for significant clinical applications they can potentially change the diagnosis and treatment methods in the hospital.
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February 2013 Contributors
Nitish V. Thakor is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, as well as the Director of the newly formed institute for neurotechnology, SiNAPSE, at the National University of Singapore. Read more
J. C. Chiao is a Greene endowed professor and Garrett endowed professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Texas - Arlington... Read more
Xu Meng (S'08) received a B.E. degree in electronics and telecomm. in 2006 and a M.S. degree in biomedical engineering in 2008 from the Beijing Institute of Technology... Read more
D. Kacy Cullen has B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering, in 2002, and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA... Read more
Mohammad-Reza Tofighi received his B.S.E.E. degree from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran in 1989, and his M.S.E.E. from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran in 1993. Read more
Arye Rosen received a Masters degree in engineering from Johns Hopkins University, a M.Sc. degree in physiology from Jefferson Medical College, and a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University... Read more
Walker Turner received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Florida in 2009 and 2012, respectively. Read more
Dr. Rizwan Bashirullah received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University. Read more
Changzhi Li received a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida in 2009. Read more
Ehsan Yavari received a B.S.E.E. degree from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran, and a M.Sc. degree in electronics from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. Read more
Victor M. Lubecke received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and a B.S.E.E. degree from the California State Polytechnic Institute, Pomona. Read more
Olga Boric-Lubecke received a M.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles, all in electrical engineering. Read more