Media > Design Health Barcelona celebrates first graduating class in healthcare innovation


Date: 30th. May 2014

Design Health Barcelona celebrates first graduating class in healthcare innovation

The program has identified nearly 1400 new ideas and business opportunities for hospitals, research centers and R+D companies in Catalonia

Barcelona, May 30th 2014 -. The twelve students of the first class of Design HealthBarcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona), the program to promote healthcare innovationdeveloped by Biocat, graduated yesterday at a ceremony held at the Parc Científic deBarcelona.

Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of Biocat and of the Parc Científic de Barcelona saidduring the inaugural speech that "Design Health Barcelona is a program that wascreated a year ago to meet the current need of experts that can foster innovation andentrepreneurship in the biomedical field. Today we can say that we have succeededbecause the first class of fellows has acquired the tools to be successfulentrepreneurs."

d·HEALTH Barcelona is the first training course in biodesign taught in Spain. Rated by Health StartUp Europe as one of the most impressive accelerators emerged inEurope, at d·HEALTH Barcelona, unmet medical needs identified during a clinicalimmersion in top hospitals in Barcelona are the basis for innovations that respond tothe demands of society.

"Healthcare is, nowadays, the most attractive sector, the one that provides morebusiness opportunities" said Jorge Juan Fernández, Head of Academics and E-Health& Health 2.0 Director at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu at the beginning of his speech. Heshared with the audience the results of the first edition of d·HEALTH Barcelona, inwhich fellows have identified nearly 1400 unmet needs in the Hospital Clínic, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and Institut Guttmann, the three clinical settings that are collaborators of the program.

15% of these needs represent improvement opportunities for hospitals. 25% requirenew scientific breakthrough prior to become real business opportunities, ie they promote scientific research. 20% are ideas to improve already existing products andthe remaining 40% are clinical needs that really provide new business opportunities”said Jorge Juan Fernández.

Afterwards, the three teams of Fellows presented their projects. The first one, formedby designer Roger Benet, engineer Alfred Ramirez, entrepreneurial background LalisFontcuberta and bioengineer Mateu Pla introduced ACTUA, an online platform toreduce the number of sudden deaths from cardiac arrest. The project aims to create acommunity of people capable of assisting patients who suffer a cardiac arrest beforethey arrive to the hospital. ACTUA, which will be implemented in Barcelona and later itwill extend into other cities, will contribute to make Barcelona the first cardioprotectedcity in the world.

The second d·HEALTH Barcelona team, comprised by engineers Mattia Bosio and Arnau Valls, biologist Marc Rabaza and businesswoman Susan Feitoza, introducedKOCCON, a system to deal with the excessive noise in neonatal units that can damagepreemies’ health. Babies at intensive care units can suffer up to eight times more noisethan a term newborn.

Finally, the group formed by biologists Markus Wilhelms and Inmaculada Herrero,engineer Àngel Calzada and designer Marc Benet presented USMIMA, a device toreduce chronic constipation in people with spinal cord injuries. The intestinaldysfunction, as a result of the lack of propulsion in the colon, is a serious medical andsocial problem that affects many patients with spinal cord injuries and negativelyimpacts their quality of life. The tool developed by the Fellows is a non-drug, noninvasiveand with no side-effects solution.

After the presentations and prior to the diplomas, serial entrepreneur Julio Garcia,who is the Director of KSchool in Catalonia, gave the last lecture of the program. Hereminded the students that "you are dealing with health, something vital but also very beautiful" and advised them to, “whatever you do in the future, do it with trespass,disruption and perseverance."

Graduation Day marks the end of the academic program. However, over the nextmonths, the three teams of Fellows will have to continue working on their projects andbuilding prototypes to present them to an international panel of investors in September.Then they will start their own path and pass the baton to the second batch of Fellows.

Biocat is currently evaluating the applications received to join the next edition of Design Health Barcelona. Those students who are selected will also receive ascholarship that covers up to 25% of tuition.

d·HEALTH Barcelona is the flagship program of Biocat’s Moebio initiative to promote entrepreneurship and to respond to the current challenges in the healthcare sector. It isaligned with the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), a consortium ofEuropean research centers, enterprises and higher education institutions that work alltogether to develop innovative projects. The KIC is the instrument of the EuropeanInstitute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to transform ideas and knowledge intovalue by developing new products and services that have an economic impact onsociety.


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