Medical devices

Biomedical engineering training worldwide

Trained and qualified biomedical engineering professionals are required to design, evaluate, regulate, maintain manage and train on the safe use of the medical devices present in health systems around the world.

Global survey of teaching units and associations (2014)

In March 2014, WHO launched a new survey to track biomedical engineering educational institutions, professional societies, and workforce statistics at an international level. WHO invites official representatives of biomedical engineering institutions or programs, technical schools, professional societies, government institutions, and those responsible for labor statistics to complete the survey at the following website:

The database will be immediately available and people can monitor the website periodically to track newly entered data and statistics.

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Additionally information is available from a survey conducted in 2009 to identify educational support in the biomedical and clinical engineering field and to facilitate contact with biomedical and clinical engineering teaching units and associations. A total of 592 contacts were identified in 466 teaching units and 115 associations in 90 Member States.

Results of the survey can be found at the University of Campinas:

Biomedical engineering training in low-resource settings

In low-resource settings, biomedical engineering professionals are in short supply. They are affected by the same challenges that face doctors and nurses in such settings, including:

Clinical engineering effectiveness in developing world hospitals by Mullally, Shauna, M.A.Sc., Carleton University (Canada), 2008, 198 pages.
  • Limited educational opportunities in-country
  • Limited on the job training opportunities
  • Limited opportunities for career advancement
  • Inadequate numbers of qualified personnel to fill posts
  • Absence of a national professional regulatory body
  • Brain drain to higher-income countries
  • Competition with the private sector for scarce skilled professionals

There is a critical need for more biomedical engineering training opportunities for biomedical engineering professionals in low-resource settings.

Sources of biomedical engineering training

Formal professional qualifications for biomedical engineering professionals are obtained through successful completion of programs at educational institutions: both technical schools and universities. Similar to other professions, continuous professional development training is essential for biomedical engineering professionals to retain and enhance their skills. Some sources of continuous professional development training include:

  • partnerships with educational institutions abroad;
  • non-governmental organizations that specialize in training medical device personnel;
  • on the job’ training for new recruits;
  • continual professional development training for staff;
  • training materials provided through professional associations;
  • device manufacturers and vendors; and
  • accessible online resources.

Additional training resources

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