Specialisation in Personalised Health Technology

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Use your in-depth knowledge of mechanical engineering principles to tackle healthcare challenges and improve the treatment of patients.

Mechanical engineering is an important aspect in the healthcare sector when it comes to medical device design and development. Exoskeletons, special wheelchairs, surgical instruments, and even entire artificial hearts or lungs are all devices that could not be manufactured without the application of mechanical principles. So how can you apply fluid mechanics to the blood flow in artificial heart valves? What does it take to translate the mechanics of human movement into the design of an exoskeleton? And how do the principles of mass transfer apply to an artificial lung? If you want to build expertise in the domain of healthcare technology as a mechanical engineer, the specialisation in Personalised Health Technology is right for you.  

The broad knowledge of mechanical engineering that you will gain in this specialisation, can be used in a wide variety of applications, both in and outside the medical field. For example, doing numerical simulations for artificial lungs implies the same knowledge and skills as doing numerical simulations of airflow in a car. This specialisation makes you widely employable both in the medical device industry and other industries.”

Prof. Dr. Jutta Arens, specialisation coordinator Personalised Health Technology

What is Personalised Health Technology?

If you think about it: the human body is made up of all kinds of systems that work with underlying mechanical principles. And real-life mechanical behaviour can be very complex since it is highly non-linear, time-dependent and non-isotropic. So how can you use your understanding of mechanical engineering to design solutions in the medical device industry? In this specialisation, you will gain a broad foundation, integrating knowledge about product design, materials, and production technology as well as in-depth insights into mechanical engineering fundamentals like heat and mass transfer, fluid dynamics and control. You will then use this knowledge to analyse, simulate and support aspects of human functioning. From studying the mechanical properties of living biological tissue to flow problems related to the heart and lungs to the dynamics and coordination of the human movement system: you will be able to use your mechanical background to contribute to solutions for important healthcare challenges.

Examples of courses you might follow during this specialisation:
  • The course Frontiers in Personal Health Technology will give you an exciting introduction to the broad field of medical device development, covering trends and opportunities for your future career with exciting guest lectures from professionals in the field.
  • What does it take to design and develop a medical device for the support or replacement of internal organs like hearts, lungs or kidneys? How can you understand the interaction between blood and the medical device, and how can you analyse the risks involved? That’s what the course Development of Artificial Internal Organs is all about.
  • The course Medical Certification and Human Factors teaches you about human factors and what regulations and values must be taken into account for products with human end-users.

One of the great benefits of this specialisation is the opportunity to expand your knowledge in other vital disciplines as well, since you will work together in interdisciplinary teams with biomedical and electrical engineers, physicists and technical physicians, with access to UT’s innovative TechMed Centre. You might design an ambulation device for artificial lung patients in order to increase the outcome of a future lung transplant or analyse the failure mechanisms in hip implants. Or what about modelling and predicting how muscle forces operate when humans walk or improving the usability of medical instruments that are predominantly designed for male practitioners? And also: what does it take to get clinical certification and approval? Because in a highly regulated field like the medical device industry, there are high standards when it comes to safety, not only regarding the device, but also the manufacturing procedure and other processes involved.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you have:

    • robust knowledge of the development of safe and effective medical devices for patients while keeping regulatory requirements;
    • a broad overview of the application areas of medical technology;
    • a fundamental understanding of anatomical and physiological contexts for the development and application of medical devices.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can apply the newest technologies related to mechanical engineering to the medical field;
    • are able to develop new therapeutic options for patient well-being in cooperation with medical staff;
    • can work in highly interdisciplinary teams understanding each other's specific professional language.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • value patient-centredness in development processes and integrate this in your work approach;
    • take into account the various perspectives of stakeholders involved in medical product development and its industrial, technological, and societal context;
    • can ethically use technology with regard to human well-being.

Other master's and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you’re looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about these other master's:

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