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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 635-648
Research Article

Healthcare Engineering Defined: A White Paper

Ming-Chien Chyu,1 Tony Austin,2 Fethi Calisir,3 Samuel Chanjaplammootil,4 Mark J. Davis,5 Jesus Favela,6 Heng Gan,7 Amit Gefen,8 Ram Haddas,9 Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg,10 Roberto Hornero,11 Yu-Li Huang,12 Øystein Jensen,13 Zhongwei Jiang,14 J.S. Katsanis,15 Jeong-A Lee,16 Gladius Lewis,17 Nigel H. Lovell,18 Heinz-Theo Luebbers,19,20 George G. Morales,21 Timothy Matis,22 Judith T. Matthews,23 Lukasz Mazur,24 Eddie Yin-Kwee Ng,25 K.J. Oommen,26 Kevin Ormand,27 Tarald Rohde,28 Daniel Sánchez-Morillo,29 Justo García Sanz-Calcedo,30 Mohamad Sawan,31 Chwan-Li Shen,32 Jiann-Shing Shieh,33 Chao-Ton Su,34 Lilly Sun,35 Mingui Sun,36 Yi Sun,37 Senay N. Tewolde,38 Eric A. Williams,39 Chongjun Yan,40 Jiajie Zhang,41 and Yuan-Ting Zhang42

1Department of Mechanical Engineering; Coordinator, Healthcare Engineering Graduate Program, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
2Helicon Health Ltd., London, UK
3Industrial Engineering Department; Dean, Management Faculty, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
4Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Permian Basin (Odessa, Midland, Abilene and Dallas), Texas, USA
5Operational & Clinical Excellence Leader, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas, Texas, USA
6Computer Science Department, Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada, Ensenada, Mexico
7Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s Health Partners, London, UK
8Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Israel
9Texas Back Institute Research Foundation, Plano, Texas, USA
10University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
11Biomedical Engineering Group, E.T.S. Ingenieros de Telecomunicación, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
12Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
13Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
14Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yamaguchi University, Japan
15Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
16Department of Computer Engineering, Chosun University, Korea
17University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
18University of New South Wales, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sydney, NSW, Australia
19Surgical Planning Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
20University Hospital and Center of Dental Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
21Physical Plant & Support Services, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA
22Department of Industrial Engineering, Texas Tech University, Texas, USA
23School of Nursing and University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
24Healthcare Engineering Division, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
25School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
26Epilepsy Clinics, Covenant Medical Group; Chief, Section of Internal Medicine, Covenant Hospital, Lubbock, Texas, USA
27The Chartis Group, Chicago, Illinois, USA
28SINTEF, Technology and Society, Hospital Planning, Oslo, Norway
29Biomedical Engineering and Telemedicine Research Group, University of Cadiz, Spain
30Extremadura Public Healthcare Service, University of Extremadura, Spain
31Polystim Neurotechnology Lab, Polytechnique, University of Montreal, Canada
32Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA
33Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan
34Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
35School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, UK
36Department of Neurosurgery, Department of Electrical Engineering; Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
373D Surgical Planning Lab – Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Imaging & Pathology/OMFS-IMPATH Research Group, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
38HJF Advancement of Military Medicine, Navy Medical Research Unit, San Antonio, Texas, USA
39Chief Quality Officer-Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Sections of Critical Care and Cardiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA
40College of Management Science & Engineering, Dongbei University of Finance and Economic, Dalian, China
41Dean, Glassell Family Foundation Distinguished Chair, Dr. Doris L. Ross Professor, School of Biomedical Informatics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA
42The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Received 1 August 2015; Accepted 1 October 2015

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Engineering has been playing an important role in serving and advancing healthcare. The term “Healthcare Engineering” has been used by professional societies, universities, scientific authors, and the healthcare industry for decades. However, the definition of “Healthcare Engineering” remains ambiguous. The purpose of this position paper is to present a definition of Healthcare Engineering as an academic discipline, an area of research, a field of specialty, and a profession. Healthcare Engineering is defined in terms of what it is, who performs it, where it is performed, and how it is performed, including its purpose, scope, topics, synergy, education/training, contributions, and prospects.