Why Should You Join a Biomedical Engineering Student Group?

What is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering is an advanced engineering discipline that combines the knowledge of engineering, biology, and medicine, to improve human health through cross-disciplinary activities that integrate the engineering science with biomedical sciences and clinical practice. Some examples of well-established areas within the biomedical engineering field are bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, biomaterials, system physiology, clinical engineering, rehabilitation engineering. (Section Info Source: Imperial College London)

Sounds cool. But I don't study STEM subjects, why should I care about this?

Because healthcare itself, is a huge and important business sector. And the biomedical engineering related sub-sector is showing a high growth potential. The healthcare sector is also often seen as a "counter-cyclical" industry, as it can usually retain stability during economic recessions.

Over the past 10 years, the S&P 500 Healthcare Index went from 306.45 on Jun. 30, 2009 to 1071.79 as of Jul. 15, 2019, up 249.74% throughout the decade. The healthcare sector index outperformed most of the other sectors such as energy, financials, utilities, as well as the S&P 500 index itself.

One reason for the substantial growth is the dramatically increasing global healthcare expenditure. The global healthcare expenditure is expected to reach US $10.059 trillion by 2022, with an annual growth rate of 2.9% between 2013-2017, and 5.4% between 2018-2022. In the United States, the national healthcare expenditure went up to US $3.65 trillion in 2018, added up to 17.14% of the country’s GDP.

While it is good to see a strong-growing sector in the economy, the increasing cost of high-quality healthcare to individuals also raises people’s concern in the accessibility and sustainability in the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry has been addressing this issue by shifting the focus from "sick" care to truly "health" care, which means "well-being", "prevention", and "early intervention" are becoming the priority. Healthcare technologies / advanced medical devices are playing a very important role in this transition, as their sensors and biometrics can provide a tremendous amount of valuable data for healthcare providers such that more resources can be allocated to places that matter the most, and can improve the healthcare quality and patient experience. The global healthcare technology sector is expected to reach US $280 billion in 2021, with compound annual growth rate at 15.9% between 2016-2021. Such growth potential boosts M&A deal activities dramatically. Private equity deal volume increased by almost 20% year over year, to 316 transactions in 2018; total disclosed deal value grew by almost 50%, from US $42.6 billion in 2017 to US $63.1 billion in 2018. Average deal value in United States reached a record-high to over US $400 in 2018. The opportunities available in corporate development, banking, accounting, consulting related to healthcare sector is truly phenomenal.

UA Biomed is a one-of-a-kind student group at the University of Alberta, we have students from engineering, science, medicine and business to develop innovative biomedical engineering devices. By joining the group, non-STEM students will have the opportunity to work on a project with some of the best STEM minds on campus on a weekly basis. You will develop numerous transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, and public speaking, which will be very beneficial to your career development. In addition, since we are specializing in medical devices development, you will have the opportunity to learn about medical research and you can even do your own research in the healthcare market. You will build your competitive advantage in the industry and ultimately increase your chance market.