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Barcelona, 24 November 2014. The second edition of Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona) kicked off in September. This is the first postgraduate program in biodesign in our country, promoted by Biocat with the aim of fostering healthcare innovation, entrepreneurialism and professional development in the biomedical arena.

This year’s class is made up of 8 fellows with backgrounds in design, engineering, economics and the life sciences. As a group, they have 19 scientific publications, 2 patents and 3 professional awards. According to the program’s academic director, Jorge Juan Fernandez: “It is a great group of individuals: smart, talented, and ambitious. Our goal is to make them become the best possible teams. It is going to be (again!) a terrific year!”

Following the program methodology, the fellows go through different phases of training. After they have completed an introductory week (bootcamp), they move into the clinical immersion phase. In this period, the fellows divide into two groups of four (one at each hospital) and spend 7 weeks with doctors, nurses and patients, observing medical visits and surgical procedures and participating in other activities involved in the healthcare process. The fields chosen for this year’s immersions are obstetrics, at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona, and gastrointestinal surgery, at Hospital Clínic. The observations made over this period will be the foundation for the groups’ invention and development of innovative, feasible solutions that can be taken to market in the future.

The hospital immersion phase, and the rest of the phases of the program, are combined with classes, MOOCs and workshops given by more than 50 global experts, including Dan E. Azagury (Stanford University, USA), Yossi Bahagon (Clalit Health Services, Jerusalem), Chia Hwu (Qubop, Silicon Valley), David Maltz (Novartis, Silicon Valley), Lekshmy Parameswaran (Fuelfor, Barcelona-Singapore) and Alfons Cornella (Infonomía, Barcelona), among others. Through this process, students acquire knowledge regarding medicine and business development and skills in areas like design thinking and creative leadership.

Fellows from the d·HEALTH class of 2013-14 identified nearly 1,400 unmet clinical needs, 40% of which entailed business opportunities. One of these is now a reality: usMIMA, a company set up in October by one of the three groups of fellows.

d·HEALTH Barcelona, which has been called one of the best healthcare innovation accelerators in Europe by experts at Health StartUp Europe, is a program inspired by the prestigious Stanford Biodesign Fellowship, KaosPilot and Exponential Medicine (Singularity University) programs and receives support from Sanofi, AGAUR, the University of Barcelona and the Barcelona Science Park, among others.




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Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
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