Stories of patients whose lives have been saved or improved by biomedical devices such as the cardiac defibrillator and the insulin pump are described in Medicine by Design: The Practice and Promise of Biomedical Engineering. With 25 color photographs, the 248-page volume interweaves the history of biomedical engineering with work in progress to improve orthopedics, medical imaging, cardiovascular care and neurological therapies. Pacemakers, organ imaging and artificial hearts are covered as well as the work of the da Vinci surgical robotic system and pioneering steps into the field of genetics. The author visited several academic centers of biomedical engineering in the US and has explored the field from the perspectives of patients, engineers and surgeons. Fen Montaigne; Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2006; $25.