BIOE 374A/B: Biodesign Innovation
(MED 272A/B, ME 368A/B, OIT 384/385)

Graduate or postdoctoral students from the Schools of Business, Engineering, Humanities & Science, Law and Medicine are invited to participate in the Elective Course, BioE 374A (Winter) and BioE 374B (Spring). Note: Students who have completed the A quarter will be given preference for the B quarter.

Course is also available online through the Stanford Center for Professional Development: Winter Quarter; Spring Quarter [NOTE the course is known as BIOE 375A/B within SCPD - this is due to differences in credit offerings.]

Elective Course Structure

  • Needs Assessment
  • Research
  • Intellectual property
  • Biomedical ethics
  • Brainstorming
  • Assessing Clinical and Market Potential
  • Developing patent strategies
  • Prototyping
  • Regulatory Strategies
  • Stakeholders and Market Research

The two-quarter Elective Course series provides lectures from a diverse group of faculty that expose students to the practical aspects of technology invention and development. The class features a presentation or discussion from one of the guest speakers or faculty. Students work in small project teams in the Knight Management Center's NGP CoLab and the Biodesign Prototyping Studio, collaborating with the fellows of the program.

Lectures and practical discussion from faculty and outside experts. Two sessions per week. Lecture on Thursday, project class on Tuesday. Enrollment capped at 40 students.

A: Needs Finding and Concept Creation

A systematic approach to inventing new medical technologies. The first quarter class details the process of validating medical needs including market assessment and the evaluation of existing technologies;basics of regulatory (FDA) and reimbursement planning; brainstorming and early prototyping for concept creation. Course format includes expert guest lecturers and interactive practical discussions with faculty. Students will work in project teams, which will prepare a final report and presentation.

B: Concept Development and Implementation

The second quarter focuses on how to take a medical device invention forward from early concept to technology translation and implementation planning. Topics include technology research & development; patent strategies; techniques for analyzing intellectual property; advanced planning for reimbursement and FDA approval; choosing translation strategies (licensing vs. start-up); ethical issues including conflict of interest; fundraising approaches and cash requirements; essentials of writing a business or research plan; strategies for assembling a development team. Students will work in project teams, which will prepare a final report and presentation.


Course Content

Course content (syllabus, homework assignments, etc.) is maintained on the Stanford CourseWork website. Once a student is enrolled in the course, access is given to the coursework pages.

Course Expectations

Attendance is mandatory and head count will be taken the first 15 minutes of class. We consider attendance essential to the structure of the course and only one unexcused absence will be permitted. Additional absences will result in a deduction from your final grade.

Students are expected to take both quarters of this class. Since class size is limited and admission to the class requires an application process, we do request that applicants indicate on their form that they will be taking the course both quarters.

Faculty & Course Support

This course is taught and supported by a host of faculty and staff. Due to the intensity of a project-based course of this type there are a number of people who will facilitate the student's participation:

Primary Faculty

Clinical Lead

Business Coaches

Organizational Coaches

Presentation Coach

Course Mentors

Biodesign Educational Coordinator

Biodesign Collaboratory Manager


What Students are Saying

I love this course. It gives a very useful and practical knowledge of the entire medical device industry and the process of creating something in that space. The faculty is very impressive. Also some amazing people are invited from the industry to share their experiences and perspective which really adds to the value of the class. Another aspect of the class which is very appealing is that we get to work in teams with people from different disciplines and this gives so much more value to the class. we learn so much from each other in addition to the other things. – First Year MBA
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Applying for the Course

Students must complete the Biodesign course application before the deadline and will be able to register through Axess once they are accepted.

  • Application for 2015-16 course will open in October

Deadlines to be announced.

Information Session:

All information sessions for the course have concluded for 2014, here is a copy of 2014 the slide deck.

Information sessions for the 2015-16 class will be announced fall 2015.

Quarters Winter Spring
Course Number BIOE 374A BIOE 374B

MED 272A
ME 368A
OIT 384

BIOE 375A (SCPD online)

MED 272B
ME 368B
OIT 385

BIOE 375B (SCPD online)

Day, Time

First Day of Class: January 6
4:15-6:05; Thursday
4:15-6:05 p.m.

First Day of Class: April 3
4:15-6:05; Thursday
4:15-6:05 p.m.

Content Needs Finding and Concept Creation Concept Development and Implementation
Instructors Yock, Brinton, Milroy, Watkins,
Guest speakers
Yock, Brinton, Milroy, Watkins,
Guest speakers

Tuesday Project - Alway Building, M112

Thursday lecture - Huang 018

Final Presentations, March 10, 12 - Huang 018

Tuesday Project -Knight Management Center, McClelland Building Room 101B

Thursday lecture -
Huang 018

Final Presentations - May 28 Huang 018, Jun 2 - Knight Mgmt Ctr M104

Units 4 units: lecture plus project 4 units: lecture plus project
School Engineering/ Medicine/Business Engineering/ Medicine/Business
Online (SCPD only) Video Lectures - Thursdays, 4:15 - 6:05pm, 2 units Video Lectures - Thursdays, 4:15 - 6:05pm, 2 units



The textbook for the class is Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies. This may be purchased through the Stanford Bookstore or on your favorite online bookseller.


Please email Eva Hellman ( for further information about the course.

Distance Learning - BIOE 375 A/B

This course is also offered online through Stanford's Center for Professional Development (SCPD). Distance Learners can watch the course by video each week within 24 hours of the actual course delivery. The 2-quarter course can be combined with three other online courses to complete a Biodesign Certificate. Further information about the certificate is available on the SCPD website.

The application period for the Winter quarter has CLOSED. For questions regarding future enrollment please contact Jonathan Notman (

One student who completed the certificate said, "I completed the graduate certificate program this year. It has been a tremendous learning experience. The program provided me with the necessary foundation and confidence to participate in the medical device industry."