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Q & A

Biomedical, prosthetic and orthotics engineering



With clinical precision: Prosthetists have to work in tandem with a medical team.

My son has just completed his Plus Two examination. Could you provide me the details of the following courses - biomedical engineering and prosthetic and orthotics engineering.

Dr. K. Jacob Roy, Kunnamkulam

Biomedical engineering is an emerging branch that combines the knowledge of both medicine and engineering. Those who aspire to become biomedical engineers should study BE/B.Tech. courses in biomedical engineering. In Kerala, Model Engineering College, Ernakulam (a self-financing college under the Institute of Human Resource Development, affiliated to the Cochin University of Science and Technology) with an intake of 40 seats, and the Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, Kodakara, Thrissur (private self-financing college affiliated to the University of Calicut) with 60 seats conduct B.Tech. biomedical engineering courses. Admission to the merit seats is based on the State-level Engineering Entrance Examination.

The School of Biomedical Engineering, under the Institute of Technology of the Banaras Hindu University is a prominent institution offering B.Tech, M.Tech and Ph.D. courses in biomedical engineering.

Biomedical engineering is a highly interdisciplinary and developing field of study. There are many areas of specialisation in this field - bioinstrumentation, biomaterials, tissue engineering, biomechanics, clinical engineering, orthopaedic bioengineering, navigation systems, etc. Those who successfully complete professional degree/post-graduate courses in biomedical engineering can gain employment with companies that manufacture equipment used in hospitals and diagnostics centres/research and development institutions. Biomedical engineers also get opportunities in the marketing divisions of medical equipment manufacturing companies.

Some other institutes/colleges offering BE/B.Tech. courses in biomedical engineering/related field are the following:

The Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Technology, Pondicherry - 607 402 (Phone 0413 2615086, 2611421), www.balajitrust.org - B.Tech., biomedical engineering.

The S.R.M. Institute of Science and Technology (deemed university), Veeraswami Street, West Mambalam, Chennai - 600 033 (website: www.srmuni.ac.in ) - B.Tech., biomedical instrumentation engineering.

The Avinashilingam Institute for Home Science and Higher Education for Women (deemed university), Coimbatore - 641 043 (www.aduengg.com.) - BE biomedical instrumentation engineering.

The Dr. M.G.R. Educational and research Institute (deemed university), Chennai - 600 095 - B.Tech. biomedical engineering

Prosthetic and

orthotics engineering

Prosthetists/orthotists are specialist who design, fabricates and fit prostheses (artificial limbs) and orthoses (braces supports, accessories and remedial devices for the loco-motor handicapped) prescribed by a clinical team headed by the physical medicine specialist/orthopaedic surgeon.

Prosthetic and orthotics engineering courses are aimed at enabling qualified prosthetists/orthotists to work with physicians, therapists and other professionals involved in rehabilitation in a clinical environment.

The courses include classroom and practical sessions in laboratories, where students learn the fundamentals of manufacturing, measuring and fitting of appliances.

There are diploma and degree courses in the prosthetic and orthotics engineering. Entry requirement is a pass in Plus Two/equivalent examination in science subjects - physics, chemistry, biology-mathematics - with 50 per cent marks (40 per cent marks sufficient for SC/ST/physically handicapped students); age limit 17 to 22 years.

At the degree level three-and-a-half years BSc. (Hons) courses (including six months' internship) and four-and-a-half year (including six months' internship) professional bachelor's degree courses in prosthetics and orthotics are offered by certain institutes/universities. The bachelor's course is considered an equivalent of any other engineering degree course. The Rehabilitation Council of India is the statutory regulatory body that regulates and controls special education, including prosthetics and orthotics engineering.

Some prominent institutes offering prosthetics and orthotics degree/diploma courses are the following:

The Institute for the Physically Handicapped, Vishnu Digamber Marg New Delhi - 110 002, diploma in prosthetics and orthotics engineering (30 seats)

The Government Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, K.K.Nagar, Chennai, diploma in prosthetics and orthotics engineering

Christian Medical College, Thorapadi, Vellore - 632 002, diploma in prosthetics and orthotic engineering

The Department of Rehabilitation, Safdarjung Hospital, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi, diploma in orosthetics and orthotics engineering.

Central Polytechnic, Taramani, Chennai - 600 013, diploma in prosthetics and orthotics Engineering (10 seats)

The All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hazi Ali Park, Mumbai - 400 034, bachelor of prosthetics and orthotics engineering

The Swami Vivekananda National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research, Olatpur, P.O Bairoi, Cuttack - 754 010, bachelor of prosthetics and orthotics Engineering (four-and-a-half years)

The National Institute for the Orthopaedically Handicapped, BT Road, Bon-hooghly, Kolkata - 700 090, bachelor of prosthetics and orthotics Engineering (four-and-a-half years). For more details visit - www.rehabcouncil.nic.in

Those who successfully complete degree/diploma courses in prosthetics and orthotics engineering are likely to get jobs with artificial limb manufacturing companies/medical colleges/rehabilitation centres for physically handicapped/academic institutions, etc.

GOPAKUMAR KARAKONAM

Author and career consultant based in Thiruvananthapuram

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