What is biomedical science?
Biomedical science is crucial when it comes to screening for diseases, identifying those caused by bacteria and viruses, and monitoring the effects of medication and other treatments.
Usually based in laboratories working in areas of diagnosis, screening, monitoring and research, biomedical scientists focus on how cells, organs and systems function in the human body, and carry out tests on tissue samples and fluids to help clinicians diagnose and treat human diseases.
Biomedical science is highly varied, practical and analytical work. It plays a vital role in the healthcare of patients, and is typically divided into four specialist areas:
- Infection sciences (microbiology and virology)
- Blood sciences (clinical chemistry, haematology, transfusion and immunology),
- Cellular sciences (histology and cytology)
- Genetics and molecular pathology
Operating theatres, accident and emergency (A&E) and many other hospital departments simply couldn’t function without biomedical scientists. For example, in A&E, the blood sciences department will test emergency blood transfusions for blood groups and samples from patients who may have overdosed or had a heart attack.
Biomedical scientists investigate a range of medical conditions, including:
- Blood disorders (e.g. anaemia)
The theme for Biomedical Science Day 2018 is ‘at the heart of healthcare’ and aims to highlight how the role of biomedical science is central to a person’s healthcare throughout their lifetime. Every blood test, tissue biopsy, swab or other sample taken in hospital or at a GP’s practice will have been analysed by a biomedical science expert, and it’s their work that produces the data on which doctors, consultants and surgeons base their diagnoses to plan a patient’s treatment.