Stanford India Biodesign - About Biodesign
Initiated in 2001, the Biodesign Program at Stanford is dedicated to training tomorrow’s leaders in medical technology using an experiential approach to technology innovation. Program elements include: (1) interdisciplinary, team-based learning combining engineering, clinical and business trainees; (2) intensive exposure to medical needs-finding and characterization; (3) “hands-on” process of invention, prototyping and early stage testing; (4) practical instruction in regulatory, reimbursement, patenting and technology transfer; and (5) mentoring by highly experienced technology innovators, including Stanford faculty as well as a wide range of “real world” industry experts.The focus of the Biodesign Program has been to train the next generation of medical technology innovators, taking advantage of the wealth of experience of Biodesign faculty and affiliated industry advisors.
Biodesign has bridged the gap between academia and industry by partnering with the local and national medical technology industry. The program has established teaching methods that provide innovation tools to engineers, physicians and business people, allowing them to create and develop innovative healthcare solutions.
The core of the Biodesign Program is a multidisciplinary, team-based fellowship. The current fellowship is one year long, with an optional second year to further develop a technology invented during the first year. Fellows are selected from an international pool of applicants who come from engineering, medical or business backgrounds. The engineering fellows have typically completed PhD or MS degrees; the clinical fellows typically have received their MD degrees and are completing their residencies or fellowships; the business fellows have typically had several years of relevant work experience in addition to having received their MBAs. Fellows are selected based on a track record of innovation (patents, inventive research projects, and occasionally a licensed product or a start-up company).
Fellows initially spend three months immersed in the hospital and clinics setting, the time spent observing within a specialty area. Their goal is to identify at least 200 clinical needs – that is, clinical problems potentially addressable by a technology solution. During the next two months, the team filters the list down to the top 15-20 needs, with heavy advising from faculty and “real-world” mentors. Over the next several months, the fellows select and further explore their top 3-5 needs through a process of inventing, prototyping and product development.
In addition to the fellowship, roughly a dozen medical technology course offerings are taught at Stanford, with Biodesign serving as the inspiration and “anchor” for these offerings. Over one hundred Stanford students per year enroll in these courses, many of who enter the medical device industry after graduation. Biodesign also sponsors seminars and lectures that are open to industry, further promoting medical technology innovation and facilitating networking between academia and industry.