Title: 'Much Ado About Nothing': on the distinction between medical physics and clinical engineering

Authors: Wilhelm J. Van Der Putten

Addresses: Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Galway University Hospitals, Newcastle Road, Galway, Ireland

Abstract: Several philosophical studies on the relationship between science and technology indicate that there exists a continuum of knowledge, ranging from knowledge of technology (e.g., engineering), on the one side, to knowledge of science through technology (e.g., applied physics), on the other. Medical physics and clinical engineering are thus very similar disciplines without sharp or distinct boundaries. Other areas of science are now beginning to encroach on medical physics and clinical engineering. This, combined with the fundamental similarity between these disciplines, requires a re-appraisal of the organisation, education and training of medical physicists and clinical engineers.

Keywords: medical physics; clinical engineering; healthcare technology; medical technology; medical devices; technology management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2010.036924

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.11 No.6, pp.429 - 441

Published online: 16 Nov 2010 *

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