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Metrology in Medicine

  1. Rainer Macdonald,
  2. Stephan Mieke

Published Online: 15 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap704

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Macdonald, R. and Mieke, S. 2011. Metrology in Medicine. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. 383–408.

Author Information

  1. Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2011


Physical, chemical, and biological measurements are important essentials in medical diagnosis for the prevention and treatment of disease as well as for risk assessment and monitoring of patients. Hence, measurement results that are relevant to medical diagnosis must be accurate, reliable, and comparable between different places and over time to ensure optimum patient care as well as the most efficient use of available health care funds. To ensure that medical measurement results are of known quality and to improve their accuracy and reliability, standards, reference methods, certified reference materials, and calibrations are needed. In this article, the peculiarities of medical measurements are discussed and problems encountered in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements are pointed out.


  • medical diagnosis;
  • medical measurements;
  • crank ergometers;
  • spirometers;
  • tonometers;
  • laser flow cytometer;
  • isotope dilution–mass spectometry;
  • biomeasurands