Biomedical Technologies are tools and techniques to be applied for the purpose of relieving abnormal body functioning, at the molecular, cellular, organ system and whole body levels. Research on biomedical technologies goes up to the point where these tools and techniques are tested on human subjects; it also includes the development of novel medical devices that improve health or quality of life of individuals.
The Health programme is contributing to the sector of biomedical technologies primarily through the support of collaborative research projects. Along the different Framework Programmes, biomedical technologies have been included in the various activities under FP6 and FP7. In FP6 (2002-2006), an estimated €100 million have been dedicated to activities in imaging, radiotherapy and disease-targeted projects. In FP7 as a result of its first four calls for proposals, the Health theme is supporting about 47 collaborative research projects related to the field of biomedical technologies representing an EU contribution of around €220 million and covering the areas of analytical and diagnostic devices, imaging technologies/visualisation techniques, pathogen detection and implanted biomaterials/tissue engineering.
The used approaches are multidisciplinary, integrating areas such as: molecular and cellular biology, physiology, genetics/genomics, physics, chemistry, biomedical engineering, nanotechnologies, microsystems, devices and information technologies. Developments are designed to lead to new technologies, methodologies and approaches for non-invasive prediction, diagnosis, monitoring and/or prognosis for a variety of pathologies ranging from neurological disorders over cancer to infectious diseases. A number of projects supported in this area are relevant to the development of medical devices. They are all of potential benefit to patients and involve European industry, in particular SMEs.