Advancing healthcare through technology
Louise Samios, a final-year Biomedical Engineering student, is advancing the study and diagnosis of disease through technology, paving the way for advances in healthcare.
Combining STEM and health innovation
I was like most teenagers who didn’t know what they wanted to do after school. I was always fascinated by the human body and medicine, but I didn’t know what health based career options I had. When I was a teenager, my mother had cancer, I had a cousin with spinal muscular atrophya genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. and I had a knee reconstruction after a serious sports injury. I was exposed to a world of medical technology that I didn’t know existed, and saw how it changes lives. This is where my love for medical technology and treatment started.
Making a difference
In 2017, I was a Trainee Service Engineer at Canon Medical Systems (formerly called Toshiba Medical ANZ) working on medical imaging equipment. Medical imaging equipment allows us to see inside the body without any invasive procedures.
I worked with CTcomputed tomography. , ultrasound, and catheterisation labsan examination room in a hospital with x-ray diagnostic imaging equipment used to visualise the arteries and chambers of the heart and treat any abnormality found. Across these modalities, I saw a vast range of applications and how they improved people’s health.
Some days I’d be working with ultrasounds in maternity wards surrounded by the excitement of new life. Then other days, I’d be with CT machines in emergency wards or seeing them used in cancer treatment.
Shape the future
Improved diagnosis through technology
In 2018 I completed my Engineering Capstone Project (thesis) with the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, in the Children’s Cancer Research Unit. My project applied computer-based technology to the study of a disease, to see if the technology could improve how we study and understand disease.
My project looked at using technology to overcome relying on manual analysis, which is limited by human error, time and resources. This technology may be able to see information of diseases that we cannot see with the human eye. With this knowledge, we may be able to improve the diagnosis and understanding of disease; and one day, automate the diagnosis process.
I used imaging technology, image analysis and data analysis on the study of neuroblastomathe most common, extracranial, paediatric, solid tumour; caused by nerve cells that have not matured properly. Commonly found around the adrenal medulla, sympathetic nervous system and paraspinal ganglia. to understand the cellular components that drive tumour growth.
If we can improve our understanding of what influences tumour growth, we can use this information to develop new diagnostic methods, as well as new treatment plans. Improving diagnosis means we can provide more accurate treatments to patients, at an earlier stage, which can drastically improve patients health.
Similarly, as we increase our understanding of a disease, we can develop new treatment methods that will improve the health and well-being of patients. All these factors can have a huge positive impact on society in the future.
As a biomedical engineer, I’ll have the opportunity to be at the forefront of advancing technology; as either part of the team that develops new technologies, or in a team that uses the products in their work. I can go into industry where I’ll work with a team of people from different specialties, all with the core focus of improving people’s health and changing lives. It’s a rewarding career path that I’m excited to continue on.