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This January, the 6th edition of d·HEALTH Barcelona kicked off, the program promoted by Biocat to train future healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs. New this year, one of the teams will do their clinical immersion at Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, in the Clinical Directorate of the Thoracic Department. During eight weeks, the fellows, in collaboration with their tutors at the hospital, will choose one of the needs to develop into a business project and compile a report for the hospital with the areas for improvement they detected during their immersion.

“At Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, we believe innovation must be a key strategic focal point and participating in d·Health Barcelona is a great opportunity to channel our staff’s innovative energy,” highlights Daniel Moreno, head of Innovation at the Hospital.  For his part, Antoni Rosell, clinical director of the Thoracic Department at Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, believes “This is an opportunity that will surely provide us with many ways to continue giving our patients the very best care.”

So, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital is joining the list of hospitals participating in the d·HEALTH Barcelona program, which also includes Hospital Clinic, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Institut Guttmann and Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus.

In addition to the Clinical Directorate of the Thoracic Department at Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, this year’s d·HEALTH Barcelona fellows  will be doing immersions in the Gynecology and Obstetrics Department at Hospital Clinic Barcelona and the Psychiatric Unit at Vall d’Hebron.


From the hospital to the product

d·HEALTH Barcelona is one of only four European programs inspired by the Stanford University biodesign methodology. Fellows spend two months at local hospitals to identify real unmet clinical needs in situ that could be turned into new products or services.

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.

d·HEALTH Barcelona impacts more than 1,000 people every year, from hospital staff to investors and patients. Over these five years, the 50 fellows that have done the d·HEALTH program have identified more than 4,700 unmet clinical needs. Of these needs, 65% could be transformed directly into business opportunities, 5% are tied to scientific discoveries and 30% are opportunities for improvement that could be implemented by the hospitals themselves. At Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, for example, 30% of the opportunities for improvement detected by the d·HEALTH Barcelona teams have already been implemented.


Generating talent and new start-ups in healthcare

Over the five years of d·HEALTH Barcelona, the program has trained 50 fellows from various disciplines: the life sciences, engineering, business and design. Of these, 90% have found work in the healthcare sector and 48% have their own business project.

As a result of the clinical immersions at the hospitals, five teams from the first four classes of d·HEALTH Barcelona have made their projects into start-ups: usMIMA (MOWOOT), My-QupHappy InjectionsLoop Dx and I-Ophthalmology. In total, these start-ups have raised €2.5 million and helped more than 1,100 patients with various conditions. From the fifth class, which graduated on October 30 this year, three projects are carrying on with development and one of them, dbreath, has joined a Barcelona Activa pre-acceleration program.

The most popular job opportunities among graduates of the program promoted by Biocat are in hospitals, pharmaceutical and medtech companies, and at research bodies, particularly in positions involving innovation. The companies and organizations that have hired former d·HEALTH Barcelona fellows include the Mayo ClinicHospital Sant Joan de DéuSanofiBarcelona Supercomputing CenterIRB BarcelonaCSV ExpertsCapital Cell and DKV Seguros, among others.

d·HEALTH Barcelona is a member of the Innovation Fellowships program under the European EIT Health initiative, which promotes the fellows’ international mobility through exchanges with other programs and their membership in the extensive EIT Alumni network once they finish the program.

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