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This January, the 7th edition of d·HEALTH Barcelona kicked off, the program promoted by Biocat to train future healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs. Participants began the first weeks of their clinical immersions at Bellvitge University Hospital, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, but they had to stop due to the Covid-19 healthcare crisis. Now, Biocat has pivoted the program to have participants focus their efforts on identifying current and future needs associated with the pandemic, and propose solutions to address them.

To do so, the 10 participants in this year’s program, local and international professionals with training in science, design, engineering or business, are interviewing healthcare professionals and patients who are on the front lines of the pandemic. Roughly thirty virtual interviews are scheduled with physicians and other healthcare professionals working in ICUs and other services both in and out of hospitals where the pandemic can generate future needs, working at centers in the BioRegion of Catalonia, Spain and Europe.

The goal is to identify roughly 500 unmet needs in areas like ventilators and ICU equipment, telecare systems, protective material for healthcare professionals, communication with patients and family members, improving diagnostic tests, and more.

Afterwards, participants will select some of the needs identified and work on the design, prototype and business model for their solution, from a medical technology perspective.


A program to train future health innovators

d·HEALTH Barcelona is one of the first European programs inspired by the Stanford University biodesign methodology and is a member of the Innovation Fellowships program under the European EIT Health. Throughout the program, fellows 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.

Over these six years, the fellows that have done the d·HEALTH program have identified more than 5,970 unmet clinical needs. 95% of the participants of d·HEALTH Barcelona have found a job in the healthcare sector and 30% are working on their own business project. Some start-ups that have been created based on needs detected by fellows during the program include usMIMA (MOWOOT), My-Qup, Happy Injections, Loop Dx and I-Ophthalmology

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