Biodesign for Digital Health


Health care is facing significant cross-industry challenges and opportunities created by a number of factors, including the increasing need for improved access to affordable, high-quality care; growing demand from consumers for greater control of their health and health data; the shift in focus from “sick care” to prevention and health optimization; aging demographics and the increased burden of chronic conditions; and new emphasis on real-world, measurable health outcomes for individuals and populations. Moreover, the delivery of health information and services is no longer tied to traditional “brick and mortar” hospitals and clinics. It has increasingly become "digital," enabled by apps, sensors, wearables, and information systems, as well as by the data that these technologies generate. This multifactorial transformation presents opportunities for innovation across the entire cycle of care, from wellness, to acute and chronic diseases, to care at the end of life

But how does one approach innovation in digital health to address these healthcare challenges while ensuring the greatest chance of success?

Biodesign for Mobile HealthThank you to all the health technology experts who help make the course such a great learning experience.

At Stanford Biodesign, we believe that innovation is a process that can be learned, practiced, and perfected; and it starts with an unmet need. In Biodesign for Digital Health, students will learn about digital health and the Biodesign need-driven innovation process from a team of experienced instructors and more than 50 industry experts. Over the course of ten weeks, these speakers join the teaching team in a dynamic classroom environment that includes lectures, panel discussions, and breakout sessions. The experts represent start-ups, corporations, venture capital firms, accelerators, research labs, health organizations, and more.

Student teams will take actual digital and mobile health challenges and learn how to apply Biodesign innovation principles to research and evaluate needs, ideate solutions, and objectively assess them against key criteria for satisfying the needs. Teams use a hands-on approach with the support of need coaches and mentors. On the final day of class, teams present to a panel of digital health experts and compete for project extension funding.  Learn more about Biodesign NEXT and read about the winning teams from past years.

Enrollment in the course is limited, and by application only. Friday sessions will be used for work time on team projects and for five workshops. Check out the working version of this year's syllabus for more information. 

Course title
Biodesign for Digital Health
Course number(s) Quarter(s)
BIOE 273
MED 273
Schedule Units
3:30-6:20 pm

11:30-1:20 pm
Eligible students
Enrollment information
By application only (see Course Details and Deadlines for more information)
Learning goals
  • Be able to ask informed questions and apply critical thinking to understand the evolving digital health industry
  • Be able to recognize, describe, and apply the needs-driven Biodesign approach to the creation of innovative solutions in digital health
  • Have developed or refined the "soft skills" required to work in teams and with the support of external advisors and mentors towards achieving and presenting digital health project outcomes