STEM, a beautiful acronym impacting our lives at each and every step. STEM means Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Let me share a big misconception among people regarding Medicine and STEM fields. Usually, people consider medicine an entirely different domain having no link with technology. But that’s not the case. In ancient times, people used to treat diseases using  herbs and other natural methods. But with the passage of time, people started excelling in this field. New diseases emerged and likewise, new methods for cure emerged. Bu Ali Sina, a Muslim scientist known as Aviccena in the west, wrote a book named ‘The Cannon of Medicine’. It was revolutionary step in the field of medicine as it consisted of new tools and methods. Science and technology made advancements and it influenced every field including medicine. In this era, you might discover new medicines but you can’t implement without the help of machinery. For this aspect, a new field of research was introduced in the world under the title of ‘Biomedical Engineering’. The scope of this discipline is to merge the new technology into the world of health and medicine. All the assisting machinery in hospitals e.g. ventilators, dialyzers, MRI techniques, etc. is provided by these engineers and it is purely a STEM application. Think for a second, how a hospital would look like without all these life supporting machines?  The answer is already imagined by you.

             You must have listened to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning quite often. Scope of this field is to assist humanity and share the burden of mental fatigue by giving quick solutions to the problems .Surgeries are being done using simulation. Doctors perform it on the computer simulators and become mentally prepared for all the consequences rather doing experiments  on the patient in operation theatre.  In China, there are health booths consisting of no doctors. But all the diagnosis and prescription is done there with the help of AI. This is the world of AI. For instance, it was published in MIT technology review that, neuroengineers at Stanford are using measurements of brain activity to help restore function in people who are paralyzed. Recently, working with a man paralyzed from the neck down, the researchers implanted two arrays of tiny electrodes in a part of his brain responsible for hand movement. As the man imagined writing letters, the scientists used machine learning to translate his brain activity into letters on a screen. Using this system, the man could write 90 letters per minute, more than doubling the previous record for typing via brain activity. Technology can now help restore the ability to communicate, feel sensations, and more in people who are paralyzed or have amputations. Brain stimulating implants may also offer new ways to treat epilepsy, chronic pain and blindness.

MBBS and STEM Education

                We have discussed all the applications of science, technology and engineering in medicine. One most important application in medicine is of mathematics. Mathematics is a language of God. You can unveil the secret chambers of universe using mathematics. Every daily life problem can be solved in the language of mathematics by modeling. Therefore, many problems in the field of medicine are solved using it. To calculate the rate of spread of any virus or disease in a population of specific area, just differentiate the collected data with respect to time and find the answer to the problem. Moreover, cardiac output of a patient can also be calculated using the tools in calculus. Nowadays, mathematicians are doing diagnosis of parkinson’s disease as it doesn’t have any early symptoms. Doctors only declare this disease when mental retardation is seen in the patient. Mathematicians have a new diagnostic method for it. They monitor the gait of a person and make its sinusoidal wave. Then, they monitor the normal behavior with respect to equal intervals of time. When there is some disturbance in the pattern, it is a warning sign and treatment can be done by the doctors accordingly.

                   We have discussed all the four disciplines of STEM in the field of medicine and I am glad that you have made it to this end. This means that this topic is of importance for you and if you want to pursue medicine as major, I would suggest you to be more keen and desirous about the research and implementation of new technologies as it is today’s reality. You must have ended up with the conclusion that medicine and STEM is interlinked.  There are literally only two options: either you are running an algorithm or you are using magic. To sum up, Be Revolutionary and Be The Change.

Written by:

Hamda Tauseef

19 years old

Student at PIEAS       


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