Inaugural speech prof.dr.ir. J. Harlaar (3mE): biomechatronics

14 November 2018 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Health is the main prerequisite to live a good life. Therefore healthcare is a primary responsibility to individuals and society. The involvement of technology in healthcare will not stop increasing.  That is not just more equipment but also the mind-set of an engineer will change clinical practises. In short: engineers are going bedside ; or: more and more medicine becomes engineering. Exactly that is aimed for by the joint bachelor (“Clinical Technology”)  & master (“Technical Medicine”) programmes under shared responsibility by TUDelft, ErasmusMC en LUMC. Does this mean that future physicians will also master engineering skills, or do we educate engineers that have massive medical knowledge? In any case these new healthcare professionals will :  bridge the probabilistic versus the deterministic approach ; shift from bearing  technology to employing it; connect models and humans. They will lead healthcare from “now” to “next”; stepping into the future. It remains to be seen what the profile of this new professional will be, in an area where also physicians need to reinvent themselves. But for sure  in 10 years’ time the bedside engineer will be established in healthcare, although they might be disguised in a white coat…

For example in diseases that affect human movement, the use of smart mechanical support (biomechatronics) might augment mobility. Also biomechanical based measures and computational models are essential to deliver precision therapy. We will develop such innovative technologies as part of the larger med-tech collaboration in the Medical Delta.