The International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine was founded in 1980 by its Constituent Organizations, the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering and the International Organization for Medical Physics. Through its adhering national societies in almost 80 countries, the Union comprises a global network of physical scientists and engineers dedicated to improving health care and well-being worldwide, especially in developing countries.
The objectives of IUPESM are to contribute to the advancement of medical science and technology; to organize international cooperation and promote communication among those engaged in health care science and technology; to coordinate activities of mutual interest to the engineering and physical sciences within the health care field, such as international and regional scientific conferences, seminars, working groups, regional support programmes and scientific and technical publications; and to represent the professional interests and views of engineers and physical scientists in the health care community.
IUPESM has sponsored triennial World Congresses for some 20 years. The proceedings have been published as supplements of Physics in Medicine and Biology and/or Medical and Biological Engineering and Computing, two of the official journals of IUPESM. The Millennium Congress was held in Chicago with more than 4,600 attendants including about 900 students, as well as 1,100 exhibitors. In addition to the World Congresses, regional scientific meetings, educational courses (especially in developing countries) and sub-specialty scientific conferences are sponsored at the rate of 8 to 12 per year in various parts of the world. Copies of journals, monographs and newsletters are provided free of charge to 82 libraries in 55 developing countries. Much work is done via Regional Groups, the longest established being those in Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
The Union has established Key Programmes, which are complementary to and symbiotic with those of ISC. They include Public and Governmental Understanding of Health Sciences; Education, Training and Continued Professional Development for the 21st Century and Global Biomedical Information Networking for developing countries for which a Global On-line Medical Physics Textbook and a Biomedical Engineering Encyclopedia are being developed; Evidence Based Health Technology; and Medical Equipment Evaluation. IUPESM is establishing collaboration with other members of the ISC family on these and related projects.