Minor Deepening Minor: Digital Medicine from Theory to Hands on Practice

Verdiepende minor
10 weken


This minor aims at giving the students an understanding of how digital systems can acquire biomedical signals, interpret them in a medically relevant way and finally come up with diagnostically relevant information shown on the screen of a modern mobile device.
The minor builds a link between theoretical foundations and medical applictions of such devices. It combines various educational formats, from the classical lecture format for basics and theory over a creative problem solving seminar to an extensive practical hands-on lab course.
The minor is composed of the following elements:
Introduction to Medical Informatics (15 hours of lectures)
Terminology and medical classification systems, EPR / EHR Electronic Patient Records / Electronic Health Records, HIS Hospital Information Systems, Medical Imaging algorithms, Biomedical Sensor-Based Systems
Introduction to Telemedical Technology (15 hours of lectures)
Communication principles – Layer models, services & protocols, Wireline communication – Copper & Fibre Wireless inhouse interaction – radio standards Security for medical data transfer – cryptography and firewalls Mobile digital communication basics – From GSM to 5G Telemedicine and industrial applications
Creative Project on Digitalization Potential for Medical Problems
Preparing a technical feasibility study for a selected real-life problem in clinical applications where digitalization and the use of embedded sensorics is appropriate. Researching the state of science and technology in the application field and performing a thorough requirements analysis. Identifying technologies that appear promising for solution, developing a technical feasibility study for the solution of the given problem.
Hands-on Lab Project
1: Basics of sensor circuits and soldering using a given printed circuit board. Example: the development of a Heart-Rate monitor
2: Acquiring basic technical skills of programming a Microcontroller, Integrating sensors, display and wireless data transmission Visualizing biomedical sensor data on an Android-Smartphone
3: Advanced lab module: build your own medical system using the methods and tools learned about in 1 and 2

Learning objectives

Participants of the course
• can name the most important events in the history of digital medical technology
• are able to name conceptual differences of various medical devices based on their field of usage (e.g. hospital information system vs. telemedical devices)
• can explain how medical imaging algorithms work and what errors to expect in given contexts
• know about the constraints of biomedical sensor-based systems and the optimization problems which arise therefrom
• learn to self-organize, lead and control design teams of 3-5 members
• learn to conceptualize a technical solution which meets a current healthcare need
• have the ability to apply scientific research methods on a new field of knowledge
• can present their work in a presentation and answer critical questions about the work’s concept and its subsequent implementation
• acquire hands-on experience with different sensor types such as ECG, EMG, EEG and GSR on the hardware level
• can interconnect different sensors either on a breadboard or by soldering
• know about major obstacles in the design and implementation of a medical device incorporating hardware and software
• are able to program a microcontroller in order to exchange data between sensors, computers and smartphones/tables
• develop a real-life project in which they use all their acquired knowledge to develop a small medical device which solves a practical need in the current healthcare system

Special aspects

This minor is accessible for 3rd year medical students from the Erasmus MC and the LUMC. The course language will be English, therefore, a good command of the English language is necessary.
The practical parts of the minor will be conducted in small groups of students.
Attendance during all educational parts and lab courses is obligatory.

Special characteristics:
• All elements of the minor programm (10 weeks) will be presented in the University of Siegen, Germany. Housing capabilities for minor participants will be provided free of charge during the minor.
• Because this minor will comprise 10 weeks abroad, registration will take place early, from 1-15 April 2020; make sure you have registered before 15 April 2020!
• Friday 24 April 2020 you will be notified about your definitive registration.
• Because this whole minor will take place abroad, you can not have exam resits during the total minor period (31 August – 6 November 2020)

Overview content per week

  • Week 1: Theoretical foundations (1): Introduction to medical informatics; Basic lab project
  • Week 2: Theoretical foundations (2): Introduction to Telemedical Technology; Advanced lab project (1): Basics sensor circuits
  • Week 3: Creative Project: State of the art analysis; Advanced lab project (2): Peripheral integration
  • Week 4: Creative Project: Requirements definition; Advanced lab project (3): Data visualization
  • Week 5: Creative Project: Exploration of Solution space; Hands-on project: Creative phase (1)
  • Week 6: Creative Project: Designing a solution (1); Hands-on project: Creative phase (2)
  • Week 7: Creative Project: Designing a Solution (2); Hands-on project: Implementation (1)
  • Week 8: Creative Project: Designing a Solution (3); Hands-on project: Implementation (2)
  • Week 9: Creative Project Validation of Results; Hands-on project: Evaluation
  • Week 10 Presentation of results; Exam

Teaching methods

This minor involves several teaching methods. Basic knowledge of medical devices is conveyed in a classical lecture-style within weeks 1 and 2. Those lessons take place in the morning and are accompanied by a closely guided practical part in the afternoon. Students get their first hands-on experience with sensors and hardware with close guidance by teaching staff. Over the next few weeks students work in self-organized groups “simulating” a small engineering company. In this phase active guidance of the students will slowly be replaced by passive supervision, resulting in a nearly real-life project situation towards the end of the minor.

Teaching materials

All required material will be provided during and after the courses via the MOODLE learning platform of University of Siegen.

This material covers:
• Power Point slides used during the lectures
• Further reading, relevant for the exams where indicated, more for deepening and broadening knowledge on the field
• Precise descriptions of material to be used during the lab courses
• All hardware, devices, sensors and programming tools required for the lab course
• Scientific/technical literature on the respective practical problem to be solved during the creative project
• A communication platform for group based work

Method of examination

Method of examination

• Written/digital exam covering the contents of the lectures and the further reading material as indicated, as well as the methodological aspects of the lab course
• Written report on the results creative project work
• Presentation of the results of the creative project (PowerPoint, 30 min)
• Live demonstration of the devices built during the advanced lab course

Composition final grade

The final grade of this minor will be determined as follows:
• Written/digital exam (50%)
• Written report (20%)
• Oral presentation (20%)
• Live demonstration of own device (10%)

Each of these elements needs to be passed with a grade of 5,5 or higher

Students will get the opportunity from their supervisors to evaluate their exam grading. They will receive feedback on their research report and PowerPoint presentation.


Erasmus MC: dr. Jifke Veenland
+31 10 7043122

Siegen, Germany: Prof. Dr. Rainer Brück
+49 271 233 927 91
Am Eichenhang 50, D-57076 Siegen


Verdiepende minor
10 weken
Erasmus MC
Studiepunten (EC)