The 20th century was an inspirational period for physics and engineering applied to medicine. The seeds for the rapid growth of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering in healthcare were sown in the closing decade of the 19th century by three important discoveries:
As with other aspects of technological development, the underlying principals elucidated by physicists were soon turned into practical applications through the skill of engineers. As we enter the 21st century, Medical Physicists and Biomedical Engineers are continuing to play an essential role in delivering modern, effective health care in a wide variety of ways. The work of these dedicated health professionals takes place in hospitals, in research laboratories, in industrial concerns, in academic institutions, and in governmental organisations. Some of the activities of physicists, engineers and technologists in hospitals are summarised below.