Stories

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

  • Helping Define the Future of Healthcare in Israel

    2016-17 Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellow Leor Perl is working to advance the innovation ecosystem in Israel on several fronts. As an interventional cardiologist, he uses his patient experience to inspire ideas to improve care. He launched an innovation training hub inside his hospital that is moving multiple projects towards the market. And he’s putting his training to work each day as CMO of a health technology start-up that recently completed its first-in-human trials.

  • Bioengineering Students Help Keep Peritoneal Dialysis Patients Out of the Hospital

    When Alisha Birk, Mark Buckup, and Janelle Kaneda teamed up in the Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design course, the three undergraduate seniors knew nothing about kidney disease or the struggles of patients undergoing dialysis. But by the end of the academic year, they had developed an infection-detecting technology that could help keep peritoneal dialysis patients out of the hospital. Evidencing the potential of this approach, their solution won a $75,000 prize at the national KidneyX competition.

  • Training the Innovation Team

    It takes an interdisciplinary team to create a disruptive health technology. This makes managing the team dynamic as essential to the success of an innovation project as choosing the right problem to solve in the first place. Learn how the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign's director of team learning and design, Douglas Rait, works with our Innovation Fellowship teams throughout the year to facilitate their interactions so they can address important unmet health needs and improve patient care.

  • Patient-centric Approach Helps Bioengineering Students Simplify Self-Catheterization

    Women unable to urinate voluntarily due to injury or illness have to perform clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) in order to empty their bladders. The procedure is difficult and often causes urinary tract infections. Inspired to make life easier for these patients, a team of senior undergraduate bioengineering students set out to develop a more intuitive approach.

  • 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.