Physics and Health
The health of a population is a fundamental element contributing to progressive sustainable development in all regions of the world. Virtually all sciences contribute to the maintenance of human health and the practice of medicine; each makes its specific contributions.
Throughout the course of medical history, physics has been one of the fundamental medical sciences. First, it was applied to understand the functions of the human body. There is a long and rich history of applying physical principles and the development of many types of technology for both the diagnosis of disease and injury and for a variety of therapeutic purposes.
Physics and health experienced a major revolution following the discovery of "a new kind of radiation" by a physicist, Professor Wilhelm Roentgen, in 1895. This was soon followed by the discovery of radioactivity. Roentgen radiation (x-rays) and radiation from radioactive materials soon became the physical agents for major medical diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. For over a century physicists and engineers have developed and supported the clinical application of radiation. This has been complemented by the continuing developments in technology that utilize other forms of physical energy such as sound, light, heat and RF radiation and magnetic fields to expand the capabilities of the medical specialties of Radiology or Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. Associated with this is the extensive growth of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering as two of the major healthcare professions.
The Conference (WCPSD) provides a unique opportunity to enhance healthcare in the developing countries by organizing partnerships and collaborations through a variety of resource projects that support applications of medical physics, biomedical engineering and medical technology.
Factors driving this opportunity include:
Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
World health benefits from many forms of technology used for diagnosis, treatment, and the general management of medical care. Medical physicists and biomedical engineers are the professionals who develop and support the effective utilization of this medical science and technology.
A significant contribution to quality healthcare within any region is the education and training of a wide spectrum of medical and healthcare professionals to insure that investments in medical technology produce maximum benefits to society.
The technology infrastructure of healthcare spans five major applications:
Conference Objectives in Physics and Health
The second day of the two-day Conference will be devoted to presentations and discussions of specific Resource Projects, Partnerships, and Collaborations that will collectively form the overall Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development (PERHD) Project of the Conference.
Conference Physics and Health Program Committee
The Physics and Health Program Committee includes members from both the developing and developed countries who bring extensive experience in all areas of medical physics, biomedical engineering, and programs to address the specific physics and engineering needs in the developing world. Specific Committee functions include:
Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development Project
Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development (PERHD) is both a major component of the physics and health related program within the World Conference on Physics and Sustainable Development and the embedded project that is the foundation for the program.
The program objectives are to:
Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development Web Site
The Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development (PERHD) web site, sponsored by the World Conference on Physics and Sustainable Development, will be the permanent communications link between the resource projects, partners, collaborators, and the users.
The many individual resource projects that are brought together in the PERHD project of the World Conference will be a major contribution to enhancing physics and engineering support of quality healthcare in the developing countries. Potential resource projects include, but are not limited to the following:
Partners and Resource Providers
Sustainable development and quality healthcare on a global basis requires a significant sharing and distribution of resources. The resources that will enhance medical physics and biomedical engineering in the developing regions of the world are currently present in many forms within various organizations, institutions, agencies, and the medical technology industry.
Resource Project Characteristics
Resource Projects that are to be included within the Physics and Engineering Resources for Healthcare Development Project of the World Conference will be: