Healthcare is one of the largest expenses in the entire U.S. Economy, measured as a fraction of gross domestic product, second only to food. Concerns about access to high quality affordable health are a global issue, prevalent in every society around the world.
Faculty and Students working in the Healthcare track apply the fundamental knowledge of their respective engineering disciplines to health-related areas; with research projects focused on the technological challenges inherent in developing enhanced imaging systems, assistive devices systems, methodologies to diagnose and treat diseases, physiological modeling, design of separation and bioanalytical systems for clinical applications, and optimization of the delivery and quality of healthcare processes and services. It is easy to envision such projects engaging a interdisciplinary team of students as Healthcare encompasses research activities in all of the KGCOE departments as well as other colleges at RIT.
The Healthcare focus area aligns with the Institute’s campus wide initiatives and supports the recent strategic alignment with Rochester General Hospital. Collaborative relationships have also been established with several faculty members from outside the KGCOE; in particular the College of Applied Science and Technology and the College of Science, NTID, University of Rochester, and multiple industry sponsors. These partnerships have already resulted in joint proposal submissions, funded projects, and publications.
One example of the interdisciplinary Healthcare research being conducted in the KGCOE is the development of the Left Ventricle Assist Device (LVAD) being developed by Dr. Steven Day's team with support from the NIH and in collaboration with the Utah Artificial Heart Institute. Future PhD students who work on projects like this would be provided with a strong context for their research through the Healthcare Seminar, Focus Area Electives and disciplinary studies as described in the Curriculum.
Engineering skills from a variety of disciplines are required to attack and solve the challenging problem of creating implantable artificial organs to extend and enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from heart failure.