BIOE 273 Biodesign for Mobile Health

Undergraduate, graduate or postdoctoral students from the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Design and Business are invited to participate in the Course BioE/MED 273 (Fall).

This course examines the emerging mobile health field. In this context, mobile health (mHealth) refers broadly to health care delivered outside traditional venues, such as the hospital or clinic, with the goal of meeting the needs to maximize wellness, optimize health, help detect and manage both acute and chronic diseases, streamline traditional health care paradigms and processes, enable new delivery models, and/or create continuity of care everywhere. Opportunities exist across the entire cycle of care. In many cases, this is accomplished through the provision of health services and information via mobile technologies including mobile phones and wearable sensors.

Innovations in this area seek to improve access to affordable, high-quality care often by enabling consumers to take greater control of their health, creating new ways to manage aging and chronic conditions, moving care from the hospital into the home, improving treatment options by providing measurable clinical outcomes for individuals and populations, or shifting the focus from “sick care” to “health improvement” and prevention.

Faculty from Stanford University and other Academic Institutions and guest lecturers from the Mobile Health industry discuss in panels the driving needs, opportunities and challenges that characterize the emerging Mobile Health innovation landscape, and present an overview of the technologies, initiatives and companies that are changing the way we access health care today.

In parallel to attending lectures and panels in the classroom (BiOE273-01), students may opt to form teams and to complete a project exploring a need in the Mobile Health field, supported by mentors and by project-specific discussions (BiOE273-02).

PDF iconFlyer_Two pages - Biodesign for Mobile Health

PDF iconSyllabus - Biodesign for Mobile Health

Goals for the Course

  • Understand the forces driving the need for mobile health
  • Provide an overview of the emerging mobile health industry
  • Explore selected applications and technologies
  • Learn about the biodesign innovation process in the context of mobile health
  • Highlight interdependencies and synergies between disciplines
  • Provide exposure to industry experts who can help clarify career paths
  • Inspire and foster entrepreneurship opportunities in mobile health

Topics Covered

  • Needs
  • Enabling Technologies
  • Designing for Health
  • Policy
  • Global Initiatives
  • Business Models
  • Financing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Corporate Strategies

Student Responsibilities

The Biodesign for Mobile Health course is taught by a combination of Faculty from Stanford University and other Academic Institutions as well as expert guests from the Mobile Health industry and entrepreneurial community.

As such, the course provides a unique opportunity to gain real-world insights and learn about opportunities for research and the creation of innovative solutions in the space.

Please refer to the Syllabus for course expectations, requirements and grading criteria.

No more than two unexcused absences are permitted.
More than two unexcused absences will lead to a No CR grade.

Guest Speakers & Contributors

The course is structured as a series of weekly lectures and panel discussions, which see the participation of several invited guests from Industry and Academia.

2015 -16

2014 -15

2013 -14 


Quarters Fall
Course Number Bioe 273
Cross-listings Med 273
Day, Time

BioE273-01 (Units: 1): Lecture/Panel: Wednesdays, 4:30PM-6:20PM

BioE273-02 (Units: 2):
Project/Lab: Wednesdays,

IMPORTANT: Students registered in BioE273-02 must also be registered in BioE273-01

Content Mobile Health Technology
Course Directors Paul Yock, M.D., Paul Wang, M.D., Michael V. McConnell, M.D., and Marta Gaia Zanchi, Ph.D and guest lecturers
Course Industry Advisor

Yogel Dalal, Ph.D. Partner Emeritus, Mayfield. Chairman and co-founder, Glooko

Mark Zdeblick, Founder, CTO, Proteus Digital Health

Cheryl Cheng, Partner, BlueRun Ventures. Co-Founder, BrandGarage

Location UPDATED 7/5/15: Shriram Center, Room 104 (443 Via Ortega)
Units 1 (attendance) or 3 (with project); Credit/No Credit
Schools Business/ Design/ Engineering/ Medicine; both graduate and undergraduate students welcome.

Note: Starting 2015 the class is capped. Please email Marta Gaia Zanchi to join the waitlist if the class is out of capacity.

Postdoctoral scholars who wish to enroll in the course must follow the auditing policy described in the Stanford Bulletin.

Specifically, the Application for Auditor or Permit to Attend Status is required with the signature of instructor, your department administrator, and is approved by the Office of the University Registrar.

Contact instructor Marta Gaia Zanchi for more information.

What Students are Saying

  1. "Speakers are knowledgeable/ experienced in their field and able to provide unique perspective relevant to the topic at hand ... it's nice that moderators change from panel to panel, so the class gets the diversity of opinion" -- IM
  2. "It was fascinating, and I really enjoyed it. You put together a great set of speakers, and it introduced me to several technologies I hadn't heard of." -- MA
  3. "It has been an amazing course - thank you very much for organizing it!" -- AM
  4. "This is my most favorite class ever! Thanks for bringing in relevant speakers with real world experience! You have the best speakers lined up!" -- RL
  5. "It was a great quarter and with lots of learning for me! Thanks for everything!" -- FX

Course Structure and Calendar

Lecture/Panel @ 4:30pm - 6:20pm

1 - September 23 – Introduction
2 - September 30   – Applications PLUS Happy Hour
3 - October 7         – Enabling Technologies
4 - October 14       – Designing for Health
5 - October 21      – Policy & Innovation for the Enterprise
6 - October 28       – Beyond US: Global Mobile Health PLUS Happy Hour
7 - November 4     – Money: Business Models and Financing PLUS Student Micro Pitches
8 - November 11    – Entrepreneurship  PLUS Student Micro Pitches
9 - November 18    – Innovation in Large Organizations
10 - December 2    – Final Presentations & Awarding ceremony

Project/Lab @ 3:30pm - 4:20pm

1 - September 23 – NO PROJECT/LAB SESSION
2 - September 30   – Project Requirements, Milestones and Deliverables
3 - October 7         – Biodesign Innovation Process: Needs Finding
4 - October 14       – Biodesign Innovation Process: Needs Screening & Criteria
5 - October 21       – Biodesign Innovation Process: Concept Generation & Screening
6 - October 28       – The Art of Telling your Mobile Health
7 - November 4     – Business Models for Mobile Health
8 - November 11    – Evaluating a Business for Success
9 - November 18    – Career opportunities in Mobile Health
10 - December 2    – Final Presentations & Awarding ceremony

Project Areas:

  • Health Care Delivery & Clinical Workflow Methods and Tools
  • Youth Physical & Mental Health
  • Affordable Health Care for the Underserved
  • Global Health in the Developing World
  • Global Health in the Developing World
  • Maternal & Newborn Health
  • Modern World Chronic Diseases
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Fitness & Wellness Exercise and Education


2014 - 15

2013 - 14

Course Directors