Duke University | Pratt School of Engineering

BMET Training & BTA Skills Curriculum

BTA Library

In partnership with Engineering World Health, we have created a library of publically available resources designed to be useful to hospital technicians in low resource settings. Subjects in the library include Health Technology Management, Equipment Repair, Electronics, Anatomy and Physiology, and Mathematics. Visit the library here.


BMET Training Program

Hospitals and clinics in the developing world often lack skilled Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMET), resulting in constant disruption of care as vital medical equipment falls into disrepair. In partnership with the GE Foundation, AusAID, Duke University, in-country educational institutions, local Ministries of Health, and the Luce Foundation, Engineering World Health (EWH) has created and implemented the BMET Training Programs in Cambodia, Ghana, Honduras and Rwanda. Each program includes a three- to four-year curriculum which becomes an accredited academic program, and each is specially designed to fit the needs of the local population. EWH trains future trainers who soon take over the program, with the ultimate result that we leave the countries we work in with a sustainable source of well-trained BMETs.

The DHT-lab supports EWH in the outcome assessment as well as program planning and improvement for this initiative.


Biomedical Technician's Assistant (BTA) Skills

The BTA Skills are a set of skills identified as being most useful in putting hospital equipment in resource poor settings back into service. The most commonly cited reasons for the large amount of equipment that is out of service are a lack of spare parts and highly trained technicians.

In order to identify what was wrong with this equipment, we studied 2,849 equipment repair requests (of which 2,529 were out of service) from 60 resource-poor hospitals located in eleven nations in Africa, Europe, Asia and Central America.

A total of 1,821 pieces (72%) were placed back into service without requiring the use of imported spare parts. We found that six domains of knowledge were required to accomplish 99% of the repairs: electrical (18%), mechanical (18%), power supply (14%), plumbing (19%), motors (5%), and installation or user training (25%). A further analysis showed that 66% of the out of service equipment was placed back into service using only 107 skills covering basic knowledge; far less knowledge than that required of a biomedical engineer or biomedical engineering technician. These skills for compiled into an evidence-based curriculum for a biomedical technician’s assistant (BTA). Read more about the curriculum here.