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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), congestive heart failure and acute otitis media are the focus of the projects from the fifth Design Health Barcelona fellowship program (d·HEALTH Barcelona), the biodesign program promoted by Biocat and inspired by Stanford Biodesign to develop future leaders and entrepreneurs in healthcare innovation.

The 2018 d·HEALTH Barcelona fellows presented their projects for the first time in public at the graduation ceremony for the fifth edition of the program, held at the Movistar Center in Barcelona. These projects are the result of nine months of training, including a two-month clinical immersion at Hospital Clinic, Vall d’Hebron and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu to identify unmet clinical needs.

This year, the d·HEALTH Barcelona fellows identified more than 950 unmet clinical needs during their time at these hospitals, approximately 65% of which are potential business opportunities and 35% possibilities to improve the hospitals.

Each team chose one of these needs to address with an innovative solution. So, the fellows who did their clinical immersion at Vall d’Hebron, which has joined the program for the first time this year, designed a remote-monitoring system for decompensation episodes in patients with congestive heart failure.

The fellows that studied the needs at Hospital Clinic presented a personalized platform to monitor the physical activity of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. At Sant Joan de Déu, the fellows developed a device to prevent acute ear infection in small children.

At the graduation ceremony, the fellows received feedback from a panel of judges featuring Clara Campàs, partner and co-founder of Asabys Partners; Pablo Cironi, principal at Caixa Capital Risc; and Marta Gaia Zanchi innovator in Health Tech and Digital Health at the Stanford Byers Center of Biodesign and founder of a new investment fund in Barcelona.

Zanchi also offered a talk about the success factors to undertake in this sector. "Recognizing the need is the primary condition for innovation, also in digital health –said Zanchi-. Health outcomes are paramount, and so is value (outcomes per money spent). Companies must prove to make a major material difference, day one in a world where the bar on evidence is high and becoming higher. When competition is high and intellectual property often unattainable, evidence of value is the best differentiation”.


Five years consolidating the ecosystem

Moebio, Biocat's talent and entrepreneurship initiative that includes d·HEALTH Barcelona, is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. "Over these years, it has consolidated its place as an instrument to strengthen the ecosystem of the BioRegion of Catalonia," highlighted Biocat CEO Jordi Naval.

Raquel Riera, director of Moebio, has presented some of the indicators of this period. In 5 years, d·HEALTH Barcelona participants have identified more than 4,700 unresolved clinical needs in hospitals, 65% of which are business opportunities. Some of these opportunities have led to new start-ups, such as usMIMA (MOWOOT), which have raised 2.5 million euros of funding and have helped 1,100 patients.

The event also featured Montserrat Vendrell, partner at Alta Life Sciences, who was CEO of Biocat when Moebio was created 5 years ago. "Five years ago, we had some great ingredients in the BioRegion of Catalonia, but we lacked talent -Vendrell said- Moebio was Biocat's great commitment to create it."


Biocat seeks graduates and PhDs in life sciences, engineering, business and design for d·HEALTH Barcelona 2019

Biocat has open the selection for students of its sixth Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona) edition, a postgraduate program to develop innovators and entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector, with starting date in January, 2019. The 90% of the previous editions participants have found a job in the healthcare sector and 48% of them started their own business project.

Following the Stanford biodesign methodology, participants expeirence a full cycle of innovation. The fellows divide into multidisciplinary teams with graduates in science, design, engineering and business, and do a two-month clinical immersion in top hospitals in Barcelona to detect real unmet clinical needs on site that can be the basis for creating new products or services.

Throughout the program, participants experience a full innovation cycle, from identifying the business idea to designing and prototyping a viable solution and searching for funding. At the same time, they take on valuable knowledge in medicine, business development, design thinking and creative leadership skills from over 70 international professors from Stanford, Kaos Pilot and companies in Silicon Valley, among others.

More information about Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona).



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* With the support of the Department of Enterprise and Knowledge and the co-financing of the ESF

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