Biodesign Innovation Course


Biodesign Innovation is a fast-paced, project-based course for graduate and post-graduate students with a passion for entrepreneurship and a commitment to improving healthcare for patients around the world through technology innovation.

Over two quarters, multidisciplinary teams of Stanford students research and validate real-world medical needs, invent new health technology products to address them, and plan for their implementation into patient care. At the end of the course, motivated teams have the opportunity to compete for funding to continue developing their projects (see our Grants page for more information about the summer extension program).

Our practical, proven process for health technology innovation is taught in a hands-on fashion with the help of dozens of experienced faculty, staff, and industry experts. Students receive coaching and guidance from a combination of the following contributors:

Core Faculty

Seasoned professors with backgrounds in medicine, engineering, and business, and successful track records inventing and commercializing important health technologies. They provide a combination of didactic and hands-on learning.

Longitudinal Project Coaches

Experienced entrepreneurs with Biodesign and start-up experience who meet with the teams regularly throughout the two-quarter course sequence. They help guide teams through the projects and provide relevant experience in health technology innovation.

Clinical Coaches

Physicians from Stanford Health Care who help students access a network of clinical contacts.

Subject Matter Experts

Specialists from the health technology industry who consult with the teams on specific aspects of their plans (e.g., intellectual property, regulation, reimbursement, business models).

Corporate and Venture Investors

Health technology funders who help the teams evaluate and improve the commercial potential of their projects at the end of each quarter.

After taking Biodesign Innovation, students routinely apply their new skills to found start-up companies, launch medtech careers, and invest/consult in the life sciences fields. To learn more about the companies initiated from Stanford Biodesign projects, please see our Companies page.

Course title
Biodesign Innovation
Course number(s) Quarter(s)
MED 272A/B
ME 368A/B
OIT 384/385
(students must commit to the two-quarter sequence)
Schedule Units
4:30-6:20 pm
Eligible students
Enrollment information
By application only (see Course Details and Deadlines for more information)
Learning goals
  • Understand and apply a repeatable process for identifying and characterizing a significant unmet health need and inventing and evaluating a new technology to address it.
  • Gain exposure to the risks and challenges that are unique to medtech innovation and develop strategies for assessing and managing them.
  • Practice working on a multidisciplinary team.
  • Gain exposure to health technology innovation as a potential career pathway.