Dr. Ming-Chien Chyu, a Pioneer and Innovator of Healthcare Engineering: Bridging the Gap between Engineering and Healthcare
I In searching for the Innovation Excellence Award winners, Dr. Ming-Chien Chyu quickly came to our attention as a pioneer in Healthcare Engineering and the founder and Founding President of the Healthcare Engineering Alliance Society (HEALS). HEALS is a global organization that bridges the gap between engineering and healthcare and improves and advances all aspects of healthcare through engineering approaches and methods. It also trains engineers and engineering students for careers in the healthcare industry and helps healthcare professionals solve healthcare issues through engineering.
As cited by several US-based global magazines, Dr. Chyu is a pioneer in Healthcare Engineering or even the “Father of Healthcare Engineering”. For his achievements in the field of Healthcare Engineering, Dr. Chyu was recognized by various magazines as one of the “Top 100 Innovators & Entrepreneurs” (cover story), “Best Inspiring Leaders of the Year,” “Innovation Excellence Award,” “Transformational Business Leaders of the Year” (cover story), “30 Most Inspiring Leaders to watch 2022”, “Most Visionary Education Leaders,” “Most Influential Leaders in Healthcare 2022” (cover story), “World’s Visionary Leaders Making a Difference – 2022” (cover story), and “10 Most Innovative Healthcare Leaders to Watch 2022”, among other honors. The Healthcare Engineering Alliance Society he founded was recognized as one of the “Most Influential Companies & Organizations”.
As a ground-breaking contribution, Dr. Chyu and 40 expert co-authors worldwide defined Healthcare Engineering in a milestone whitepaper and on Wikipedia after interviewing hundreds of healthcare and engineering specialists. This document continues to serve as the cornerstone with profound influence on developing this unique and important sector.
“Dr. Chyu has been a pioneer in healthcare engineering and was one of the early advocates for applying engineering practices to efforts to enhance healthcare delivery.”
-James P. Bagian, MD, PE, US National Academy of Medicine, US National Academy of Engineering, former NASA Astronaut
“Dr. Chyu may have already secured a historical position in the development of healthcare engineering.”
-Fazle Hussain, Ph.D., US National Academy of Engineering, The World Academy of Science
Innovation of Broad and Profound Impacts
Dr. Chyu founded HEALS and developed all its service platforms. He has long assisted doctors and other healthcare professionals who have started developing medical products based on their clinical experience and expertise but still need help before FDA application, manufacture, and commercialization. He has also helped engineers, engineering professors, researchers, and companies connect with clinicians to ensure their inventions/products can help healthcare workers and benefit patients. Based on such experience, he created a platform that allows healthcare professionals, engineers, researchers, inventors, consultants, investors, entrepreneurs, and companies to collaborate on projects leading to the commercialization of new medical devices and technologies.
Technical projects from physicians, engineers, and medical device/technology businesses are collected on the platform for collaboration on conceptualization, research, design, prototyping, testing, clinical trial, regulation compliance, FDA clearance/approval, manufacture, capital investment, etc. Through this platform, engineering students can also learn by working on healthcare projects alongside clinicians, engineers, and businesses.
Dr. Chyu’s Medical Device Net, a comprehensive and user-friendly medical device platform, provides systematic state-of-the-technology information for all medical devices cleared/approved by FDA to date (currently over 210,000), making it an effective tool for students and healthcare engineering professionals to create new medical devices.
Engineering researchers and students often have trouble locating the best venue for publishing their research findings. Engineering journals may reject their submissions because there is too much healthcare information, and it isn’t easy to locate qualified engineering reviewers. However, they could also be rejected by biomedical or healthcare journals because of excessive engineering content and difficulty in finding qualified reviewers. The same problem faces healthcare/biomedical researchers who try to publish their results involving engineering. To solve this issue, Dr. Chyu founded and served as the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Healthcare Engineering, one of the first journals to publish scientific articles on the intersection of healthcare and engineering. Additionally, It encourages collaborative research in this field, emphasizing
direct impact on patient outcomes.
The Healthcare Engineering Online Communities built by Dr. Chyu bring together the engineering and healthcare communities to disseminate the most recent information on more than 500 topics, such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing for surgery, telemedicine, wearable devices, engineering for cancer diagnosis, and nanomedicine.
Dr. Chyu developed a platform to assist engineering students and young engineers to succeed in the healthcare industry. More and better engineers from various engineering specialties are needed in the healthcare industry.
However, besides biomedical engineering, most engineering curricula—particularly undergraduate ones—cover little to no healthcare or biomedicine. But the fact is that engineers in those main engineering disciplines, such as chemical, computer, electrical, and mechanical, are in much higher demand than biomedical engineering in the healthcare industry. On the other hand, the majority of engineering students are unfamiliar with the career opportunities in healthcare.
As an innovator, Dr. Chyu developed a program to close this gap by inviting medical professionals with expertise in healthcare engineering and medical technology innovation, particularly those uncommon physicians with engineering degrees, to deliver lectures to engineering students on healthcare issues and problems that need engineering solutions to improve patient outcomes. Medical school professors with degrees in engineering and leaders in the medical device/technology industries are also among the invited speakers. These experts with dual expertise are most qualified and effective in teaching healthcare to engineering students.
Using a novel “Cutting-Edge Courses Customized” (CeCoCu) platform, Dr. Chyu’s healthcare engineering certificate program allows students to select their course topics, objectives, and scopes based on their backgrounds, interests, career strategies, and market prospects. This certificate program not only helps prepare engineering students for jobs in the healthcare industry, but also aids in the transition of practicing engineers from other industries to healthcare. It further offers an opportunity for healthcare professionals (doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals, etc.) to learn engineering/technology that may benefit their practice and capability of solving problems and advancing healthcare.
Dr. Chyu also works with healthcare engineering professionals and industry leaders on strategies to better train engineering students for healthcare jobs and helps university professors and administrators improve their curricula. Dr. Chyu established one of the world’s first graduate programs in healthcare engineering at Texas Tech University. He also developed the first website dedicated to aiding engineers and engineering students to locate employment and internship opportunities in the healthcare sector and helping healthcare industry employers to recruit engineers and engineering students.
To assist engineering students in preparing for employment in the healthcare/medical technology industry and to foster the success of young healthcare engineers, Dr. Chyu established the Healthcare Engineering Mentoring Program, where healthcare engineering professionals and industrial leaders volunteer to share their knowledge, skills, and experience to help engineering students and young healthcare engineers.
As an overarching effort to bridge the gap between healthcare and engineering, HEALS seeks to develop cooperative relationships with different engineering professional organizations, healthcare/medical professional organizations, the healthcare industry, and the government for the purpose of promoting and facilitating the mutually beneficial exchange of technical, scientific and professional knowledge, closer professional links among the organizations, and professional enhancement and lifelong learning opportunities for all members involved.
The Exciting Future
It is well known that engineering/technology has significantly contributed to improving and advancing healthcare. Many healthcare issues have been solved by engineers, and many medical advances result from engineering/technological advances. The motto of HEALS is: “Healthcare problem, engineering solution. Engineering breakthrough, healthcare advancement.”
As the healthcare industry continues to grow as the world’s largest and fastest-growing industry, the demand for healthcare engineers will continue to increase. Technology creates new opportunities, and demand rises due to the amazing amalgamation of engineering and the health sciences. As healthcare becomes more complex due to technological, economic, social, and regulatory impacts, healthcare engineering will become more important in almost every aspect of healthcare. Healthcare engineers need to help healthcare professionals tackle issues such as the management of common diseases and pandemics, care of the aging population, and the impact of new technology. In developing new medical devices/technologies, they will face increasing challenges concerning regulatory compliance, risk management, and litigation risk. Taking advantage of advances in electronics, information technology, miniaturization, material science, optics, and other branches of science and technology, healthcare engineers will continue to create, develop, and implement cutting-edge devices and systems for healthcare. Healthcare engineering will become one of the most important occupations where engineers directly contribute to improving human health.
HEALS’ success is due to the constant connection and learning from numerous specialists who can offer valuable advice and exciting ideas. The team will keep reaching out and talking to healthcare and engineering authorities with a clear vision to develop fresh ideas to revolutionize Healthcare Engineering and better serve the healthcare community through engineering.