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Professor Bulte's Incredible Medical Machines

For anyone who has been in hospital and wondered at the various machines and gizmos in use, Oxford Digital Media’s launched onto YouTube the first in a new collection of bite-sized factual films. Based on our close links with University of Oxford academics, we are making factual series on topics with a wide interest among the public. The films are designed for online viewing, covering their topics in a series of short, easily digestible, episodes.

The first is a three-part series of 6-8 minute films, ‘Professor Bulte’s Incredible Medical Machines’. For the films, Oxford University physicist and MRI expert Daniel Bulte leaves his lab to discover the remarkable science and history behind the technology in modern medicine.

The films were directed, produced and edited by ODM development producer and St. Hilda’s alumna Hannah Veale, and came about after Daniel approached us in response to our callout to academics to come forward with ideas for potential factual programmes.  We were incredibly impressed by his infectious enthusiasm for his subject and his natural ability to communicate complex science on camera. 

The series marries Daniel’s enthusiasm for science, history and engineering in a unique way. Over the last century, advances in technology have led to astounding medical advancements and we are all now living longer, healthier lives thanks to some incredible medical machines. Travelling between oak panelled science museums to clinical environments and labs, Daniel explores the breakthroughs that led to their discovery, dispels common myths, and discovers what we can expect from future medical engineering.

The Webisodes

1) ‘The Body Electric’

Daniel explores the history of the use of electricity to treat medical problems, and how we discovered that we can measure the electricity in our bodies to check the health of our hearts. He tracks down some of the earliest examples of the 'electric cure', and attempts to make his own ECG machine with just two buckets, water and salt.

2) 'Super Magnetic'

Daniel gives a rare glimpse behind the scenes of the MRI suite, and demonstrates how powerful these magnets really are - with eye popping results! After scanning his own brain, the images are used to create a state-of-the-art 3D computer model of his entire head and brain.

3) 'Robot Patients'

How to do you train for emergencies when you're a medical student? The answer - with robots. Daniel visits a unique facility at the University of Oxford where lifelike robot 'Sims' are used to simulate medical emergencies. They have a pulse, can talk, cry, blink and sweat. And in using them, a remarkable thing happens: the doctors forget they aren’t really human...