By Matt Gergyek
Picture the bustling ward of a Canadian hospital 10 years in the future- the place would likely look similar to any local hospital today, but Firdous Hadj-Moussa, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering, hopes to see one major addition – robots.
“Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering is all about using the links between technology and medicine to advance the health-care system,” said Hadj-Moussa.
Optimizing Health-Care Delivery
The results can range from MRI machines and prosthetic limbs all the way up to, yes, robots.
Hadj-Moussa weaved the threads of science fiction and reality together during her fourth year at Carleton. She and a team of nearly 25 other senior engineering students developed a robot called iTAD (Intelligent Telepresence Assistive Device) for their capstone project. The robot can be remotely controlled by medical professionals to communicate with patients, interact with its surroundings through a mechanized arm, and navigate hospitals.
The hope is that the invention, which is still in development, will reach patients in under-serviced or inaccessible areas of the country and reduce wait times.
“That’s where clinical engineering can shine … to optimize health-care delivery,” she said.
At Carleton, Hadj-Moussa led a peer-assisted study session (PASS), was part of the Carleton University Biomedical Engineering Society (CUBES) and played an integral role at Carleton University Women in Science and Engineering (CU-WISE).
Acknowledging the Under-Representation of Women in Engineering
It’s important to acknowledge the under-representation of women, who make up just a quarter of engineering students in the country according to a report released by Engineers Canada last year, she said.
“Making sure everybody feels comfortable and included in whatever program they decide to take, that in a nutshell is one of our major goals at CU-WISE.’’
This September, Hadj-Moussa will pursue a Master of Health Science in Clinical Engineering at the University of Toronto.
“Hopefully wherever I end up I’ll be somewhere helping other people,” she said.
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