21st Century Engineers Vital in Solving Modern Health Disparities

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While learning how I can use my evolving computing and tech skills to help identify health disparities so that they can be addressed and in turn, improve overall public health. In the U.S. many health disparities have raised significant amounts in the past couple of years, but through my research I have learned that through the work of engineering mixed with our fundamental science can help us understand these health disparities 


Health disparities are challenges people face in their health care based on their, background, gender, etc. A two-part study which was conducted at grove school of engineering at the city college of New York to educate kids in health disparities and also, show them a pathway into STEM. The students were given many surveys and assignments to complete to educate them on the rising cost of US health care along with a rise in STEM majors which I found very interesting because of my background in STEM. In the second part of the project the students used health disparity data to understand which is an important skill in STEM while also educating them on health disparities. And lastly the students at the start of the course were asked “Why are true challenges in US health disparities important” 45 percent of the students responded with “I don’t know,” 33 percent responded with different types of health insurance plans, and 12 percent claimed they felt it was not important, and the remaining said that health disparities were only in diseases.  At the end of the course there was real change as 31 percent said they are important because they are caused by, or were symptoms of, inequality and unfairness in health services, health research, or health care, 28 percent they are import because they disproportionately affect my community, 29 percent said they were a great national expense and 12% said they were important because they were in need of engineering tools. 


Students’ understanding and grasp of these complex community-based concerns improves when engineering undergraduates are exposed to health disparities in many situations and may even help them present solutions. When people are exposed to health disparities as an engineering problem when they are younger, they will help in research of health disparities in the STEM fields, as well as the incorporation of health disparities into engineering




Vazquez M. Engaging Biomedical Engineering in Health Disparities Challenges. J Community Med Health Educ. 2018;8(2):595. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000595


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