Stories Archive

  • 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

    Managing the team dynamic is as essential to the success of an innovation project as choosing the right problem to solve. Learn how the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign's director of team learning and design, Douglas Rait, helps the Innovation Fellowship teams 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Biodesign Alum Frees Diabetes Patients from Painful Glucose Monitoring

    For people with diabetes, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels requires frequent, painful monitoring. Inspired by the promise of sensor technology, one Biodesign alumnus used his innovation training to lead the development of a revolutionary system that makes blood glucose monitoring simple, painless, affordable, and discreet.

  • Bioengineering Students Develop Better Cystic Fibrosis Treatment for Patients On-the-Go

    Treatment to remove the sticky mucus from the lungs of a cystic fibrosis patient takes up to two hours a day. Because it is deeply disruptive as well as uncomfortable, many patients skip therapy, increasing their risk of lung infection. Five senior undergraduate students in the Biodesign Capstone course teamed up to invent a discreet, portable approach to treatment that is as simple as strapping on a backpack.

  • Paul Yock: Biodesign Approach to Training (5:30)

    Paul Yock, Founder and Director, describes his inspiration for starting Stanford Biodesign and provides a brief history of the center.

  • Tom Krummel: Solving for The Need (1:36)

    Tom Krummel, Co-Director of Stanford Biodesign, provides his perspective on what’s unique about the biodesign innovation process and how we teach it.

  • Biodesign Innovators Clear a Path to Market

    Earwax build-up is a common condition that causes discomfort and impaired hearing. While the condition is simple, the treatment is not, generally requiring the services of a medical specialist. To make ear cleaning more accessible and less expensive, two Biodesign Innovators teamed up to develop a safe and effective ear cleaning device for primary care doctors that ultimately morphed into a successful consumer medical device called OTO-TIP.

  • Reducing Costs and Improving Care—Stanford Biodesign Fellows Take The Pain Out of ICU Intubation

    The spiraling cost of healthcare has created urgent demand for new health technologies that not only improve outcomes for patients, but significantly reduce costs. Motivated by this imperative, two Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellows are helping create a new standard of care to enable intensive care unit patients on ventilators cope with the intense discomfort of the breathing tube without intravenous narcotics that often cause costly and even devastating complications.

  • Innovative System from Stanford Biodesign Fellows Helps Parents and Children Say Goodnight To Sleep Terrors

    Watching a child experience sleep/night terrors is devastating. They rouse from sleep abruptly, crying and in great distress. Attempts to comfort them are usually ineffective, since the child isn’t fully awake. The episodes may occur nightly, interrupting the child’s rest and exhausting parents. Inspired by personal experience, two Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellows teamed up to develop the Sleep Guardian, a digital system for disrupting this distressing, potentially harmful cycle.

  • Stanford Biodesign Team Creates App To Help Caregivers Meet The Challenges Of Dementia

    The effort required to meet the daily, changing needs of a loved one with dementia is exhausting and even debilitating to the health of the caregiver. A new mobile app developed out of the Biodesign for Mobile Health course helps caregivers manage these challenges and remember the person they knew before dementia.

  • Stanford Biodesign Fellow Sets Sights On Improving Healthcare In China

    It is well known that many graduates of Stanford’s Biodesign Innovation Fellowship have gone on to launch groundbreaking health technologies for the US and other developed markets. Some graduates have taken a different path, however, choosing to apply their expertise to improve healthcare in countries where resources are limited and pressing unmet medical needs are abundant. One such alumna, Dorothea Koh, is working in China to develop disruptive innovations that bring better healthcare to millions of people.

  • Undergraduate Bioengineering Students Address Real-World Medical Problems in Senior Capstone Design Course

    The Bioengineering Senior Capstone Design course challenges undergraduate bioengineering students to use their training in research, engineering, and life sciences to address a real-world health need. By working their way through Biodesign’s deliberate, step-by-step process of health technology innovation, students gain confidence in their ability to find a compelling need and engineer a solution. Along the way, they also develop practical skills outside of the engineering discipline that better equip them for future success.

  • Why Become a Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellow? (2:35)

    Each year, 12 unique individuals participate in the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship to catalyze or accelerate careers in health technology innovation. In this video, a subset of the 2015-16 fellows explain why they chose Stanford Biodesign and what the training experience is like.