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Saul Aronow PhD, PE, CCE

1917 - 2013

With over 40 years experience in Clinical Engineering at Massachusetts General Hospital, Technology in Medicine, Inc, and the Food & Drug Administration, Dr. Aronow was an internationally known and respected figure in the field of Clinical Engineering. He passed away on February 11, 2013.

After earning his PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University, Saul joined the Physics Research Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), in Boston as a faculty member of Harvard Medical School. While at the Physics Research Lab he led the team that developed an early positron scanner for mapping the location and size of brain tumors. These scanners were hand-made and installed in MGH and several research hospitals around the world including Cologne, Germany and Stanford, CA. The positron scanner was the precursor of many of the radioisotope imaging devices now in wide use.

In the late 1960s, Saul left the Physics Research Lab to lead an effort that consolidated several engineering, patient safety, and instrumentation functions at MGH into the Medical Engineering Group, one of the first full service clinical engineering departments in the country. Medical Engineering provided preventive maintenance, testing, calibration, and repair to a wide variety of medical devices. It also contained an OR-based anesthesia maintenance group and a full model shop for fabrication of prototype devices. Medical Engineers in the department worked on early applications that included prototype Holter monitors, thermo-dilution cardiac output, and interfacing medical devices with digital computers. During this time, Saul began a decades-long interest in patient safety and standards. He was intimately involved with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) healthcare standards, serving on many committees and chairing the Subcommittee on the Use of High Frequency Electricity.

Among his over 75 peer-reviewed papers, was a report on a pilot study for a medical engineering shared service. This report documented the clinical engineering needs of a spectrum of Massachusetts hospitals, leading to the 1974 formation of Technology in Medicine, Inc (TiM), which grew to become the leading independent service organization in the northeast. Saul was a visiting lecturer at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served as a Director of AAMI, Board of Examiners member of the American Board of Clinical Engineering, Director of Clinical Engineering for Project Hope, Jamaica, and President of the New England Chapter of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Saul was a Fellow of IEEE.

In addition to his technical and professional accomplishments, Saul was a mentor to many clinical engineers at a time when the field was beginning to develop. As a pioneer in clinical engineering, he organized early clinical engineering symposia at the Northeast Electronics Regional Meeting (NEREM) and the Alliance for Engineering in Medicine and Biology (AEMB). Saul was one of the original six clinical engineers certified by AAMI by acclamation in 1974.

Saul is survived by his wife Alice, six children, and numerous grandchildren. [1]

References[]

  1. HTMcommunityDB.org. " Honor Roll." Accessdate: 3/20/2016. http://www.htmcommunitydb.org/wiki/index.php?title=Honor_Roll

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