Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare Technology
Health care systems are under increasing pressure to cope with shifting demographics, the threat of chronic and non-communicable disease, pandemics, and rising health care costs. The uptake of innovations and technologies to meet these challenges and to advance medicine and health care delivery is not as rapid as the pace of change. Due to this challenge and pace of change, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has mandated remarkable strides towards the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) activities and imperatives. In doing so, and in alignment with the GES 4.0, it is envisaged that the proposed Biomedical Engineering and Healthcare Technology (BEAHT) Research Centre will be the benchmark and hub for healthcare technology and innovative success.
According to the Future Health Index (2019) report, technology continues to evolve and will be the driver of continuous transformation in health systems, globally. Healthcare professionals that are embracing the use of technology are seeing a positive impact on their own experience, as well as that of their patients. Among the 15 countries that were analysed, South Africa were among a few nations where considerable room for improvement (as well as healthcare technology adoption) is imminent and required.
The BEAHT RC shall be dedicated to basic, applied and strategic research in biomedical engineering, health innovation, healthcare technology and mHealth. The Centre will embark on delivering services through consultancy, education and training (i.e.: short learning programmes), as well as contract research. “Be the preferred Centre of choice for health technology and biomedical engineering research, applications, innovations, education, training and service excellence on the African Continent”.
“The attainment, promotion and integration of scientific research, education and its practical applications and innovations to healthcare technology and biomedical engineering and related disciplines, in order to enhance healthcare, health systems, and quality of life for Africans”.
Goals and Objectives:
- To enhance and drive UJ’s core mandate of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the application and dissemination of research and innovation for healthcare.
- To establish a footprint and high-profile presence in trans-disciplinary research and service delivery for biomedical engineering, healthcare technology, innovation and mHealth.
- To disseminate the application and innovation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, three-dimensional (3D) printing, blockchain technology, telehealth, remote patient care, augmented and virtual reality, and data science in healthcare.
- UJ is strongly positioned to combine healthcare technology, innovation and biomedical engineering with 4IR imperatives.
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic (and possible future pandemics), there is impetus for further funding opportunities and income streams.
- There are opportunities for external collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Unicef and relevant counterparts.
- Healthcare is a heterogenous arm, which will suit trans-disciplinary work.
- There may be strong alignment with the proposed UJ Medical School.
- The inclusion of university students in conjunction with their existing projects (as part of their qualifications) in the broad areas of engineering and health sciences.
- Due to the virtual nature of the centre, the adoptability and strength of the Wi-Fi capability and infrastructure is key.
The BEAHT RC will be well positioned between both the Faculties of Health Sciences and Engineering and the Built Environment, and falls well within the 4IR mandate of UJ. The BEAHT RC will benefit from the university’s trans-disciplinary working relationship with faculties, departments and institutes. The BEAHT RC will be staffed through adjunct positions of staff members at UJ (as well as experts outside of UJ), from various disciplines working in areas aligned to healthcare technology and biomedical engineering.