Equipment donation supports education in medical technology

Researcher Mikko Peltokangas (left) and HeaT’s laboratory engineer Tomppa Pakarinen give the donated patient monitor a test run.

Researcher Mikko Peltokangas (left) and HeaT’s laboratory engineer Tomppa Pakarinen give the donated patient monitor a test run.

GE Healthcare has donated an anaesthesia workstation and related patient monitor to support research and education in the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at Tampere University of Technology (TUT).

The ‘S/5 Aespire’ anaesthesia workstation and ‘Carescape B450’ patient monitor donated by GE Healthcare offer students of medical technology increasingly hands-on experience of anaesthetic equipment.

“The donated equipment will be widely used for teaching and research purposes in the field of medical technology and, for example, at Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) to educate nursing students,” says Assistant Professor (tenure track) Antti Vehkaoja of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at TUT.

The equipment open up new avenues for teaching, as they allow students to learn first-hand how medical technology works. They also serve as excellent examples when students are introduced to the R&D processes of medical devices.

“Especially the patient monitor is also perfectly suited to research purposes, as it enables the reliable measurement of reference values for physiological parameters, which are needed when developing new sensors and signal processing methods. The equipment will also be utilised in student assignments,” says Vehkaoja.

Tampere3-wide benefits

While the new Tampere University that brings together higher education institutions in Tampere will not be officially launched until January 2019, the strong collaboration that is already underway between the Tampere3 partners ensures that students from all the three institutions have the opportunity to take advantage of the donated equipment. The workstation and patient monitor are housed in the Health and Assistive Technology Laboratory (HeAT), which is jointly administered by TUT and TAMK.

“The donated equipment lends significant support to the new Tampere University, where strong emphasis is placed on multiprofessional collaboration not only between researchers but also students. Students who are working towards a degree in healthcare or engineering are able to use the equipment while completing shared assignments and thereby gain experience of using professional medical devices while still at university,” says Hannu Nieminen. He leads the Personal Health Informatics Research Group and is closely involved in Tampere3-wide collaborations and HeAT’s activities.

The donated equipment is also used to demonstrate to TAMK’s nursing students the use of patient monitors and anaesthesia machines.

Demand for new professionals in a rapidly growing field

GE Healthcare and TUT have a long history of collaboration and publicly funded research projects.

“The donation highlights GE Healthcare’s high regard for research collaboration and the medical technology education offered by TUT,” states Vehkaoja.

“Health technology is Finland’s largest high-tech export sector and experiencing rapid growth. The donation is our contribution to supporting education and research in medical technology and making sure that students have access to state-of-the-art anaesthesia workstations and patient monitors,” says Engineering Manager Niko Nuotio from GE.

“Our R&D department is happy to hire graduates who, on top of having an understanding of human physiology and clinical parameters, already know how to use medical devices. This type of experience considerably shortens the learning curve of new employees,” Nuotio says,

Aalto University and Arcada University of Applied Sciences received similar donations earlier this spring.

Text: Sanna Kähkönen
Photo: Mika Kanerva