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Future health entrepreneurs won’t be trained in classrooms, but in operating and emergency rooms

d·HEALTH Barcelona seeks graduates and PhDs in engineering, design, business administration or life sciences for upcoming edition

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Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona), a program promoted by Biocat to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the biomedical arena, has begun the admissions process to select new fellows for the third edition of the program, which will begin in January 2016. The program is geared towards young graduates or PhDs in medicine, the life sciences, engineering, design, or business who are interested in entrepreneuring or innovating in the health sector. The admissions requirements are available on the program website.

The initiative is one of just four European biodesign programs inspired by the Stanford University fellowship, in which fellows identify business ideas while participating in everyday operations at top hospitals in the city, like Hospital Clínic, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Institut Guttmann.

Over the 9 months of the program, the fellows break into multidisciplinary teams to experience a full innovation cycle, from identifying needs in hospitals through designing and prototyping a feasible solution to the search for funding. Each team does a two-month immersion at one of the top hospitals in Barcelona, shadowing medical personnel and patients to observe and take note of any unmet needs that could become a new product or service. In the first two editions of the program more than 2,000 needs were identified.

Two of the three teams from the first edition of the program are already working on their own business project. usMIMA, which won the 2014 BioEmprenedorXXI award, has just closed its first round of seed capital and this summer will launch a belt-like device that simulates a colon massage to combat chronic constipation in patients with spinal injuries and multiple sclerosis. They detected the need for this device during their immersion at Institut Guttmann.

Additionally, Arnau Valls and Susan Feitoza, another team from the same edition, are also working on their own project, called Kocoon. They expect to set up a company this year to continue developing their medical device for neonatal and pediatric ICU patients, which they decided to create after their stay at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu.

The current class of fellows is now working on viable solutions to three unmet clinical needs identified during their immersions at three top hospitals in Barcelona. These solutions will be presented publicly for the first time –to a specialized panel of judges- at Graduation Day on 11 June in the Multipurpose Room at the Barcelona Science Park. 

Fellows from the current edition of d·HEALTH Barcelona. - Photo: ©Biocat

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