Molecular Imaging News
March 10, 2005
AIMBE Hall of Fame Salutes PET as One of 24 Achievements in Medical, Biological Engineering
Citing their significance in saving and improving millions of lives worldwide over the past century, 24 key innovations of medical and biological engineering have been named initial inductees to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's new AIMBE Hall of Fame.
The list ranges from familiar, decades-old technologies such as the X-ray to more recent breakthroughs—including artificial knee and hip replacements, positron emission tomography, and biological plant/food engineering. The medical advances were chosen in a vote among the 1,000 Fellows of AIMBE, a Washington, DC-based organization representing approximately 50,000 scientists and engineers. AIMBE's Fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, along with recipients of major awards for their work from the National Academy of Engineering within the National Science Academy
"The impact of medical and biological engineering on our lives has been astounding," said AIMBE President Don Giddens. "Virtually every person on Earth has benefited from one or more of these innovations, whether in receiving better health care or eating safer food. We all know others who have lived longer or had their quality of life significantly improved by these devices and procedures.
"The challenge today—particularly here in America, where the field has made its greatest strides—is to keep the stream of creativity and innovation flowing and bring more of these advancements into use," Giddens said.
Medical and biological engineering has become a major economic factor, particularly as the pace and sophistication of developments accelerated over recent years. The $200 billion per year industry supports thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs.
"Our nation's economic competitiveness has come to rely more and more on this industry's success," Giddens noted. "But we are constantly challenged by what other nations are doing to encourage the growth and innovation of their industries.
"A key objective of AIMBE today is to assure that U.S. public policy is focused on creating a healthy environment for medical and biological engineering that will continue to lead the world," he concluded.
Newly installed AIMBE Executive Director Pat Ford-Roegner said AIMBE plans to name additional technologies to the Hall of Fame every two years. She said AIMBE Fellows will be asked to constantly review progress in the field and identify those devices and procedures that (1) represent significant engineering achievements, (2) are in general use, and (3) most importantly—save lives and improve the quality of life for large numbers of people.
Founded in 1991, AIMBE's mission includes raising awareness of medical and biological engineering and of achievements in the field, building relationships with relevant government agencies and other professional groups, improving intersociety relations and cooperation within the field of medical and biological engineering, and promoting the national interest in science, engineering, and education.