It is impossible to imagine the healthcare sector without medical technology. Innovative diagnosis and treatment methods call for a new type of medical professional; someone with both medical and technical knowledge, who can form a link between patients and technology. That’s why, as from September 2017, students will be able to start the Master’s programme in Technical Medicine, which is a collaboration between TU Delft and the university medical centres of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University.
Technology is becoming an increasingly prominent feature in the healthcare sector. Not only is it used for providing patient-specific healthcare, it’s also essential for continuing to be able to provide excellent care in an ageing society.
To succeed in this, medical knowledge and knowledge of technical principles is an absolute necessity. With this in mind, TU Delft (coordinating university), Erasmus University Rotterdam and Leiden University (LDE) launched the Bachelor’s degree programme in Clinical Technology in 2014. The new Master’s degree programme in Technical Medicine, also offered jointly by these universities, is a logical follow on from this Bachelor’s programme. The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) recently gave the green light for this programme.
Operators of complex medical devices need to have both medical knowledge as well as knowledge of the underlying technical principles. It is vital that they have a solid understanding of what the devices can and cannot do, so that they can generate the very best possible diagnostic or treatment protocol. This technical knowledge is also important when transferring new technology from industrial or academic environments to use in clinical practice.
During the Technical Medicine Master’s programme, the clinical technologists of the future learn about both the human body and deviations from normal bodily functioning as well as (complex) medical technology and its possibilities and limitations. It is absolutely essential that these clinical technologists not only have a solid theoretical background, but that they also have the skills they will need to work in professional practice. In this respect the three-year Master's programme is both an academic and a vocational training programme, similar to the Master's programme in Medicine. Clinical technology graduates stand out from other graduates thanks to their specific skills as technical-medical experts and their ability to implement and operate complex medical technology.
Theory and clinical skills
The first year of the Technical Medicine programme at TU Delft focuses on establishing a solid theoretical foundation, training actions and clinical skills in a simulation environment. The students will also strengthen their knowledge and skills concerning patient safety, efficiency, quality and implementing complex medical technologies. In the second year students complete a number of clinical technology internships; one involves an assignment which covers various departments, and three are long internships each lasting 10 weeks.
In the final year students complete a long clinical technology internship, for which they have to write a literature search and carry out research which will go on to form the basis of their final thesis. It will also give them the opportunity to further develop their clinical skills in clinical practice.
The programme has two specialisations: Imaging & Intervention and Sensing & Stimulation. The Imaging & Intervention specialisation is focused on patient imaging and on the use of these images in interventions in a patient. It covers the area of diagnostics, monitoring of treatment, the use of images in interventions and predicting the course of a disease process. This track covers everything from molecular-imaging techniques to printing tissues, from advanced pre-operative planning techniques to image-guided interventions, to big data analytics for better prediction models. The Sensing & Stimulation specialisation focuses on accurately tracking the patient’s status and making the necessary adjustments in good time. Sensing plays an important role in diagnostics, making treatment decisions, monitoring the effects of treatment and preparing prognoses for individual patients. Stimulation is the collective name for all the devices, materials, and stimuli that are used in the treatment of patients to stimulate the body to heal. They also actively support the stabilisation of disrupted biological control systems.
Entry requirements and transfers
The programme is suitable for students with a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Technology (LDE) or Technical Medicine (University of Twente). As of 2017-2018, students with a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine will be able to transfer to the Technical Medicine Master’s degree programme if they successfully complete an one-year transfer programme which has been specifically tailored to them and their academic background.
More information about the Bachelor's programme in Clinical Technology and the Master's programme in Technical Medicine can be found on the TU Delft website.