24 A Healthy Approach A course update to encompass KEEN outcomes transforms a biomedical engineering program G o to any gym across America, and you will likely see evidence of “quantified self” (QS) technology. Fitness buffs are wearing devices that monitor heart rate, calorie burn, speed, and other data bits that enhance awareness and performance. Technology once limited to intensive care units in elite hospitals is now ubiquitous. The application of QS technology has become a social movement where people use biometric sensors in smartphones and wearable devices to track and analyze personal health data ranging from steps taken to sleep cycles. Eric Meyer and Mansoor Nasir, both assistant professors of biomedical engineering at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich., saw the QS craze as an ideal way to teach entrepreneurial mindedness to first-year biomedical students. “We were trying to find a way to present students with engaging, accessible projects in their earliest courses so that our students would develop confidence in approaching open-ended problems,” says Meyer. Through a KEEN topical grant, Meyer and Nasir were able to teach an early biomedical engineering course from a new entrepreneurial perspective. “Typically, biomedical engineering courses focus on medical devices, which is an area of engineering that is difficult to work in due to the stringent regulatory and marketing environment of the U.S. healthcare industry,” Meyer says. “But the emerging fitness device industry in many cases closely aligns with similar medical devices, only with a much more entrepreneurial spirit and much less regulation. We saw QS as a timely, exciting, real-world entrepreneurship opportunity for our students to work on using the technical skills they were learning in courses across the curriculum.” BME students observe as Mansoor Nasir (right) and Eric Meyer demonstrate how data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and pressure sensors in the Nike+ Shoe can be used to monitor and improve user performance.