• Question: Creating the 3D images on the computer sounds really exciting! How do you think computers and other similar technology can take health engineering further and aid your investigations in the future?

    Asked by ellisk to Martin on 15 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Martin Wallace

      Martin Wallace answered on 15 Mar 2012:

      I think 3D design is exciting too! It really helps me to visualise the ideas I’ve got in my head and helps me to describe them better to the people that I work with.
      There are so many things that computers can and are used for in health engineering. For example it is possible to accurately calculate and visualise how blood circulates around the body, and what different sorts of damage will do to blood flow. Also you can model joints of the body to see how stress is distributed in different activities.
      I think there is so much more computers could be used for, for example I would really like to have a really accurate model of the human body, being able to change the height and weight and age, being able to feedback from the body if anything was hurting or uncomfortable. Then I could use this to be sort of a crash-test-dummy to test out my beds to see if all the parts of the bed are in the right place, finding out if it is comfortable enough.
      The only issue with making a complex model like this is the processing power of the computer. It is possible to do studies like this and create really complex models, however it might take a computer several days or even weeks to do the calculations. Computers are now really fast and they are getting faster, but there will always be something that the computer just can’t quite keep up with.