About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can your major of study improve the lives of seniors receiving in-home care services?
Essay response by John Quinlan, Drexel University
As a biomedical engineering major, my main goal is to make the lives of various individuals more comfortable. This can be achieved in many ways, varying from developments in medical treatments and devices to changes in medical therapy techniques and interpretation of medical data to help in the treatment of various maladies.
I plan to focus on tissue engineering and biomaterials within the biomedical engineering field. I hope to get involved with research relating to biological roots of diseases. Recent research has shown, for example, links between the expression of particular genes and the health of the immune system. Research in this field could provide new ways to identify diseases before traditional warning signs.
Biomedical engineering offers a grand selection of ways to improve the lives of others through changing the ways that medical issues are addressed. The development of new medical devices can improve the efficiency of medical treatments. The creation of new implants and prosthetics improve the functionality of those needing assistance in body functioning. Some of the newer advances in the field open doors to a better understanding of the biological roots of human diseases and illnesses. This includes the tissue engineering and biomaterials areas, which I am planning to study in depth. I hope to use the part of the field that I am studying in particular to help those that may be afflicted by diseases.
By identifying associations between gene expression and illness and disease, we may be able to find ways to identify afflicted individuals before an illness or disease becomes too much of an issue. This would allow us to help patients before the issue that afflicts them becomes too serious, which is medically beneficial as most major diseases and illnesses can be treated and managed before they develop into major issues.
The goal of the research that I hope to do in the future would be to help diagnose and treat patients before diseases become too painful, too debilitating, or before the treatments required are too serious. This research would speed the identification of diseases and allow medical professionals to deal with them sooner. This would allow patients to live healthier, longer lives less focused around medical treatments and concerns about possible medical issues. This could greatly affect the lives of almost every member of society, in particular the lives of seniors and, most directly, seniors receiving in-home care.
By identifying diseases before they become a major issue, we can help seniors receiving in-home care stay in their own homes. By preventing extreme development of health issues to the point that requires medical attention in a hospital setting, we can help keep those living comfortably in their homes at home. Early identification of issues and treatment that aims to prevent rather than cure medical issues will allow seniors to live more comfortably in an independent lifestyle.
John is an undergraduate student at Drexel University, pursuing a dual Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in biomedical engineering. He is currently assisting in research regarding gene expression in immune cells.