I just finished my first year in the Biomedical Engineering master’s programme at Chalmers. After this amazing year full of experiences, I've noticed some things. Chalmers is not only preparing technical professionals but also people that are involved with society.
How does Chalmers do that?
There are a lot of ways Chalmers contributes to society, but I'm going to tell you about my two close experiences about it. The first one was with one of my courses, Health Informatics
. The second one was with my part-time job at Pluggstöd
The thing that I liked the most about this course was the project we needed to develop. Most of the projects had an impact on society in some way - Health informatics in developing countries, eHealth in rural areas, digital solutions for mental health, digital health for diabetics, AI in healthcare, and the list goes on. While working on my project - Health informatics in developing countries, I met nice people from several countries. We were a group of five students from Sweden, the US, India, and Ecuador. We researched eHealth in several developing countries to find out what they have in common. We learnt from those cases and analyzed the reasons behind the success and failures. We delivered a document with those findings and some recommendations to help developing countries overcome the usual challenges that occur when implementing an eHealth project. We noticed that people don’t have enough digital skills in developing countries, nor sufficient infrastructure to digitalize their health services. If you come from a developing country like me, you would probably relate and agree with what I just described. For me, it was important to think, along with my classmates, about possible solutions for helping these countries. We all agreed that education is essential not only for improving the health system but also for having a better society overall. So, the way I see it, you could contribute enormously if you invest your time wisely by helping others. Educating people to develop or improving digital skills is contributing to building a better society and that’s exactly what I am passionate about!
By the end of the course, all the groups did an oral presentation. By listening to their presentations, I realized that this course made us consider other people's needs. For example, I didn’t know Sweden has rural areas, where access to health is more challenging. I’m sure that my classmates also found out how Health Institutions work in developing countries. I also realized diabetic people have a hard time already with the disease, and they need digital solutions to help them overcome it. This course was not only preparing us professionally in the Biomedical Engineering field but was also making us aware of what's out there to find a way to help. I believe that the lecturers from this course wanted us to get involved with real-life problems. We have had a first introduction and now it’s up to us to involve a little bit more to start contributing to society. Yeah, maybe we didn't develop a medical device or software. But, who knows? Perhaps one of us saw the need, did the research, met the right people, and is ready to move it to a higher level. The takeaway message is that Chalmers will guide you to consider different perspectives no matter what programme you choose.
In a previous blog, Teanette, Mohsén and I described our part-time jobs while studying at Chalmers
. Mine was Pluggstöd, an organization lead by Chalmers that offers math and science tutoring for middle-school kids in Gothenburg. By the end of the school year, we shared experiences, and I learned more about this organization. Turns out that Chalmers has a designated budget for helping students from these schools. This means that Chalmers is the one paying us, tutors, not the schools. After knowing that, I was curious, so I asked “why?”. And turns out that a way of contributing to society is aiding the school education and increasing the interest and motivation for subjects like math and science. I have always believed that kids are the future. Very cliché, I know. But, I've seen how every generation changes the way things work. So, if we aim for a better future, we must strive for better people. That's precisely how Chalmers contributes to society. By funding Pluggstöd, we had the opportunity to meet these kids and help them with their homework. Some of the tutors agreed that some students were grateful and learned more than just math or science. By the end of the year, they were inspired by us and wanted to study at Chalmers someday.
I hope you also feel inspired after reading this blog. I know not all people have the same interests. But if you really care about making an impact after completing your studies, Chalmers is the right place for you.