Biomedical engineering education in Peru in 2015: A unique and innovative collaboration in Latin America

R. Rivas, Luis Vilcahuamán, M. Cieza, T. Clark, H. F. Voigt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Peruvian health sector has a major shortcoming in Latin America because it does not have enough biomedical engineers (BMEs). This situation leads to negative impacts on the quality of a number of outcomes, including: health services, research, management, policies, regulation, etc. Health technology today is engaged in all the key processes: planning, operational, financial, that supports the health organizations. Despite Peruvian health professionals’ efforts the lack of an appropriate technological environment and sufficient numbers of BME professionals prevents a good understanding and/or management of the situation, thus affecting the decisions applied to key aspects involved in the sustainability, effectiveness and health disparities in the Peruvian health organizations, both public and private. In addition, the costs due to these inefficiencies jeopardize the governmental investment (public health sector) and the gains of the health enterprises, leading to ineffective, unsafe and inequitable patient care. BME is a discipline devoted to the use of engineering principles and techniques to the study of biological, physiological and medical processes at all length scales. It is a fast growing career in both developed and developing countries, and contributes to the scientific, economic and social development and welfare of society. Its roots are firmly embedded in applying the engineering perspective to health delivery systems and health technology management (clinical engineering). It has been exceptionally successful in applying computational modeling techniques to describe complex biological systems and providing context for experimental approaches to molecular, cellular, tissue and organ system processes. Recently, understanding of biological phenomena has been informing the design of new engineering materials and processes (biomimetic). Most Latin American countries have this specialization at the undergraduate level; model programs exist in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Two leading Latin American private Peruvian universities, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (PUCP) and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) have agreed to create a joint world-class BME undergraduate program using the institutions’ strengths. Peruvian BME status is rising quickly. This academic project between PUCP-UPCH to develop the BME curriculum is a valuable and exciting collaboration. We report here the current situation in Peru with respect to the rise of BME.
Original languageSpanish
Title of host publicationIFMBE Proceedings
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015

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