Enter the maze

Making Medical Devices Safer

Monitoring a ward

Technology Saves Lives

Doctors and nurses dedicate their lives to helping cure people. In Florence Nightingale's day there was little a nurse could do though than bandage patients up, nurse them and hope they recover. Now we have powerful pain-killers. We have medicines that can cure or prevent lots of diseases. Skilled surgeons can operate away problems. Medicine has transformed our ability to make people better.

So where does computer science come into the picture? Well, computers and computer-based gadgets have turned out to be a powerful weapon in the fight against illness too. End up in hospital and various machines like x-ray and brain scanners help doctors work out what is wrong with you. Monitors keep track of your vital signs day in day out and raise the alarm if anything is wrong. Information systems help keep track of the drugs you are taking and your progress. Machines now get on with delivering all those drugs in just the right amount to help you recover. Medical devices have transformed the modern hospital for the better.

With all this technology comes new risks though. All these gadgets need to be operated. Nurses can do more now than just walk the corridors with a lamp. The challenge now is to make all those complex gadgets that do so much good, as safe and easy to use as possible. We explore the science of safer medical devices...

Making it safe

Mickey mouse, mistakes, animation and aeroplanes

Plane flying through threatening cloud Grabbing attention, saving lives

More sporting blame

Welsh rugby ball The Welsh red card

Fix, don't blame

Referee Whistle The Hand of Henry

This area of cs4fn is supported by the EPSRC CHI+MED project on safer medical devices: www.chi-med.ac.uk