2020-2021: Clinical Engineers Unlocking Our Potential

IFMBE Clinical Engineering Division's Board Chairman Tom Judd shares with us a brief summary of CED's 2020 and of what will come in 2021.

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Michelangelo


2020 has certainly been a year to remember!


It was been filled with many sorrows around the world that we can stop to recall… for many patients, families, and caregivers. Perhaps your family has been touched by this, but even if not, we all share in this pain. Today, we are aware of vaccine solutions hopefully bringing this season to an end, although we recognize a new normal will emerge.


At the same time, as IFMBE CED entered 2020, we were deeply encouraged by our October 2019 Congress in Rome1 and contemplated our future2. We wanted not only to make a difference in healthcare but to gain wider global recognition for our contributions. As we saw in Rome in the beauty of Michelangelo’s sculpture and paintings, the Creator is allowing our ‘behind the scenes’ Clinical Engineering (CE)/Health Technology (HT) practitioner work to be uncovered and discovered.


In this blog, I want to highlight the work of many of you in 2020, focusing on a few as well as indicators of ‘our statue’ starting to emerge from the ’block’ of our global work. And also to introduce three areas of focus in 2021.



Looking back, I get excited how CED and its global Board & Collaborator (B&C) network was able to:


  • Support WHO / Adriana Velazquez confronting the pandemic3:
    • Highlighted by the WHO Director-General CE/HT-related remarks at World Health Assemblies on May4 and November5, 2020
    • And by 15 WHO-CED Webinars focused on best CE/HT practices confronting COVID19 with WHO5 & 6 in 2020
    • Contributing particularly to end of year WHO CE/HT projects7 in 2020 addressing major HT global issues


  • Guide the emergence of our CE global community3 characterized by:
    • Daily CED WhatsApp dialogue (global & national groups), 190+ Hacking COVID19 e-newsletters8, and robust Social Media9
    • Monthly B&C meetings whose attendance doubled, B&C growing now to include 300 representatives from 120 countries10
    • An incredible outpouring in the community during October’s Global CE Day11 and through the Global CE Journal12


  • See individual colleagues and teams honored for their contributions (some examples):
    • Yadin David & the global Founders’ Council guiding the inauguration of the Global Clinical Engineering Alliance13.
    • Dan Clark receiving Queen’s OBE for his contribution to COVID19 response14, and UK’s national CE society IPEM’s GCED video15.
    • Global Women in CE Who Excel recognition16; Fabiola Martinez chairing the 2020 CED Awards recipients’ ceremony17.



We announced at the December B&C meeting the following CED Focus Areas for 2021:

  • Children (clinical / technology programs focus) – How can CED impact the lives of children around the world? Honestly, I don’t know, but we will work on this together through our webinars, global projects, regional and national projects, and individually. We all want to encourage ways to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes for children through families, vaccines, telehealth, schools, and other ways we might influence.


  • Societies (national CE society focus) – CED has always been about creating value in our profession to encourage CE practitioners to begin or advance their national and regional CE societies. Some ways in 2021 may include convening regional face-to-face summits at the September Congress in Orlando18, using webinars to enhance national society presence and education/training tools with their country’s practitioners, and further developing national CE credentialing programs with GCEA’s assistance.


  • Generosity (leadership focus) – Our 2020 CE Competency webinars19 focused on examining CE-HTM best practices through the lens of helping young practitioners gain insight into necessary leadership skills for career success. We will build on that approach in 2021 adding perspectives on envisioning Generosity or Joyfully sharing our individual and corporate resources to serve the most vulnerable populations around us.



What will do you do and where do you fit? Stay tuned.


1. III ICEHTMC Rome presentations and schedule

2. 2019 Global CE Summit

3. Surfing and Global Community - We can make it better... together!

4. WHO Director-General Speech May & November

5. CED 2020 WHO COVID19 Townhalls and Webinars

6. CED’s Last 2-Year Journey and COVID19 Global Response, August 2020

7. WHO HT Newsletters November & December

8. Join the Hacking Coronavirus Daily Week-day Updates and access the HCU Resource Repository

9. Follow us on Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

10. Link to CED webinar results & more information on IFMBE CED

11. October 2020 Global CE Day schedule, personal interviews, national CE society inputs

12. Global Clinical Engineering Journal

13. GCEA introduction video, 25 October 2020

14. Dan Clark honored with the OBE

15. UK national CE Society IPEM’s GCED video

16. Women in CE Who Excel, October GCED 2020

17. Global CED 2020 Awards Ceremony, October GCED

18. 27-29 September 2021 IV ICEHTMC in Orlando, FL USA (Disneyland!)

19. CED 2020 Unique CE Competency Webinars


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