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On 18 January, the fellows on the Design Health Barcelona master (d·HEALTH Barcelona) began the first of the five phases that make up the program: the bootcamp phase, sponsored by Banc Sabadell Foundation. During this master, the fellows experience a full innovation cycle, from identifying needs in hospitals through designing and prototyping a feasible solution and searching for funding. d·HEALTH Barcelona is the flagship program of Moebio, an initiative of Biocat, and gains participants a masters degree from the University of Barcelona (UB).

The bootcamp phase lasts five weeks and aims to prepare fellows to work as a team and give them the skills they will need for the rest of the course. Over these weeks, the fellows attend their first classes to lay the foundations that will allow them to become medtech entrepreneurs, but also do team building activities in order to develop their leadership skills.

The first class was given by Jorge Juan Fernández –academic director of Moebio and director of e-Health and Health 2.0 at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona– who presented the master and explained the key concepts of product biodesign. In the first week, fellows also had a session with Dan Azagury, a fellow from the 2011 Stanford Biodesign Fellowship Program –on which d·HEALTH Barcelona is inspired– and attended a block of sessions with different experts from the sector to give them a general overview of the healthcare systems in Spain, Europe and the United States, as well as the biotech, pharma and medtech industries. 

On 28 January, in order to build a network of Moebio-d·HEALTH alumni, a networking dinner was held with fellows from the previous two editions and the newest class of fellows. The activity, which was warmly received, was the perfect occasion to share experiences and advice on the master and their professional future.


Learning to work as a team

After the first week of classes, the fellows moved to the EADA Residential Campus in Collbató (Barcelona), where Simon Kavanagh and Jon Tangen –of the Danish entrepreneurial school KaosPilot– took over, teaching them all of the team building techniques in a natural setting. “The KaosPilot professors taught us that society today is unpredictable, so new leaders must be taught to move in changing settings: to be pilots in the chaos,” explains Vanesa Nogales, 2016 d·HEALTH Barcelona fellow.

A leader has to experiment, to be successful and to fail, to keep trying and to grow,” explains Simon Kavanagh, director of studies and director of international development at KaosPilot. “Giving them the chance to experience all of that, to see who they are and how they can lead and be led, these are some of our goals,” says Kavanagh. “The first days of team building were about introspection, understanding and comparing our different ways of thinking. Plus, we’re laying the groundwork to set up a learning team for the rest of the program, and I can't wait to see how we tackle the social project we’re going to develop,” says Xenia Villalobos, 2016 d·HEALTH Barcelona fellow.

“I’ve learned something I’ll take with me for the rest of my life: the great potential of valuing interpersonal diversity, not only as a tool to develop leadership skills but also as a human value that increases our tolerance of differences and opens our minds to personal and professional development that others can offer. This experience will undoubtedly help us progress on our path as innovators,” concludes fellow Vanesa Nogales.

After the initial bootcamp phase, the fellows will begin the clinical immersion phase at three of the top hospitals in Barcelona: Hospital ClinicHospital Sant Joan de Déu and Institut Guttman, where they will spend two months identifying unmet clinical needs from which to develop their innovative product.


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