Stories

Read about interesting projects coming out of Stanford Biodesign and the remarkable people who make them happen.

  • On-Demand Home Healthcare for the Elderly

    In Singapore, the limited availability of home healthcare compels elderly patients and those with chronic conditions to seek care in hospital emergency rooms when they experience routine complications. This practice takes up beds needed for urgent care and results in unnecessary hospital admissions. After learning the biodesign innovation process as a Singapore-Stanford Biodesign fellow, Dr. Rena Dharmawan used her training to help develop a better solution.

  • Helping Patients Breathe Easier

    Many lung diseases cause thick mucus to accumulate in the airways, threatening patients’ ability to breathe and increasing their vulnerability to infection. Treatment involves medication as well as twice-daily physical therapy sessions to help patients expel the mucus. After watching patients struggle with the difficult and time-consuming nature of this essential therapy, one team of Singapore-Stanford Biodesign Fellows resolved to invent a better solution.

  • Tackling an Uncomfortable Problem

    Hemorrhoids are one of the world’s most common ailments. Early-stage symptoms including itching, pain, and rectal bleeding are distressing, but treatment options are typically limited to lifestyle modifications and sub-optimal over-the-counter remedies. After realizing that a better solution for early-stage hemorrhoids was needed both in the West and in Asia, where the problem is even more prevalent, the 2014 Singapore-Stanford Biodesign fellows began working on a solution.

  • Prescient Surgical: Building Acceptance for a Novel Technology

    United by a passion for surgical innovation, the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellows behind Prescient Surgical discovered an opportunity to help surgeons and hospitals address a major, but sensitive topic: surgical site infections. They devised technology that combined wound protection and irrigation into an intuitive and easy-to-use wound retraction system that clears the harmful bacteria that can infect the surgical incision. After overcoming obstacles in developing a working prototype, the innovators confronted a new challenge—helping surgeons acknowledge an uncomfortable problem and change their practices in an area that had been absent of technical innovation in more than a decade.

  • It Takes a University: How a Determined Team Developed a Technology to Protect Vulnerable Newborns

    Too often in the health field, new technologies that could substantially improve care never make it to patients because the market is small and the economics don’t support the high cost of developing, testing, and manufacturing a new device. But, by leveraging resources from across Stanford University, a team of innovators found a way to bring one such technology forward that could improve the odds for critically ill babies.

  • A Sore Throat Can Hurt Your Child's Heart

    Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) starts in childhood as strep throat. If not properly treated, it can lead to debilitating heart damage and death. To increase awareness of the early symptoms of RHD and its consequences in India, three Stanford-India Biodesign Fellows teamed up with Edwards Lifesciences to produce a public service video.

  • Achieving Medtech Leadership in Asia through Innovation Education

    Singapore-Stanford Biodesign, Japan Biodesign, and Stanford Biodesign recently convened more than 50 individuals from across the Asia Pacific region for the second annual BME-IDEA APAC meeting to network and share best practices in medtech innovation education.

  • Global Innovator Spotlight: Amit Sharma

    For Amit Sharma, being an innovator is not about running with the pack, it’s about being brave enough to stand alone or alongside those who have been left behind.

  • Global Innovator Spotlight: Avijit Bansal

    For Avijit Bansal, being an innovator is not about taking the well-beaten path; it’s about reshaping humanity’s idea of what’s possible.

  • Biodesign NEXT Facilitates Student Plans to Help Low-Income Californians Eat Healthy

    With limited access to health care services, low-income Californians have a high prevalence of chronic conditions including obesity and diabetes. To help reduce their health risks, a team of students in Stanford’s Biodesign for Mobile Health course conceived a mobile app that would help them consume a more nutritious diet. When the end of the quarter threatened to halt their progress prematurely, the team turned to a new funding program, Biodesign NEXT, to keep their endeavor moving forward.