Rehabilitation Engineering spans the entire engineering and research spectrum
- From basic science, to mathematical models, sophisticated simulations / analyses
- From device design, to clinical trials
- From mechanical, electrical, industrial and materials engineering, to industrial design
- From measurement theory, to human factors and quality control
- From clinical practice, to the socioeconomic worth of technology
Institute of Medicine's '97 report Enabling America noted that:
Rehabilitation Engineering, science and technology education is hampered by a lack of clinically relevant, but engineering based, teaching materials, laboratory experiences, and examples. At this point in the evolution of the science, there is a sufficient knowledge base and level of research to organize a rigorous scientific structure for the field. Such organization would accelerate multidisciplinary education, training and research, all of which would combine to advance the field of rehabilitation science and engineering and more effectively address the needs of people with disabling conditions.