Bioengineering is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the field of medicine. It essentially deals with the design and construction of health products and health technologies, such as medical equipment, prostheses, medical devices, and diagnosis and therapy devices. It also intervenes in the management or administration of technical resources associated with a system of hospitals. It combines the experience of engineering with medical needs to obtain benefits in the field of health care.
Bioengineering is widely recognised as a multi-disciplinary field, the result of a long spectrum of subjects that have a bearing from different fields and sources of information. In its early days, this discipline was fundamentally linked with the application of electrical and electronic engineering techniques in the construction of medical equipment (medical instrumentation), as well as in the design of prostheses and orthotics (biomechanics and rehabilitation). Following that, a major part of the applications of engineering in the field of medicine was the instrumentation to acquire images of the human body (medical imaging).
Once computers started to develop, the importance of instrumentation began to wane, while processing the acquired signals took on greater momentum, given that it was possible to obtain additional information from the signals that the instrumentation could not provide, and which was not directly visible from the biomedical signal processing.
The discipline is currently also linked to other fields such as genomics and proteomics (computational biology).