Tuesday, 23rd April 2019


According to Eucomed, the organisation which represents the medical technology industry in Europe, medical technology can be defined as "devices to be used for the purpose of:

  • Diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment or alleviation of disease
  • Diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of, or compensation for an injury or handicap
  • Investigation, replacement or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process
  • Control of conception"

The array of highly complex and specialised apparatus used in hospitals and other clinical settings is vast; there are over half a million different technologies. Additionally, the UK sits at the forefront of medical research and employs some of the most advanced equipment available. It is the role of medical technologists, also sometimes referred to as medical physicists, to operate, maintain and sometimes design and repair this equipment.

The range of machinery used in healthcare is so wide – covering just about everything from plastic pipettes to life support machines – that no single medical technologist could possibly be proficient in the use of every single one, nor can all doctors and nurses be trained in their use. Therefore, technologists will usually specialise, depending on their particular expertise.

There are a number of specialist technologies, including:

  • Critical care technologist (CCT)
  • Equipment management
  • Haematology
  • Medical physics
  • Microbiology
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Radiotherapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Renal dialysis
  • Vascular technology

Medical technologists from all disciplines will work in multidisciplinary teams alongside doctors, nurses and scientists. Technologists perform diagnostic tests on patients and also work in rehabilitation and recovery. However, not all roles will involve working directly with patients.