Media > Design Health Barcelona fellows will compete for $ 200,000 to develop their projects


Date: 8th. November 2013

Design Health Barcelona fellows will compete for $ 200,000 to develop their projects

Biocat has reached an agreement with Alandra Medical Inc, a Mexican company specialized in the development of innovative medical devices, which has launched an international competition to fund projects that overcome health challenges

Barcelona, November 7, 2013 - . The projects emerged from Design Health Barcelona, Biocat’s program to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in Catalonia, may win up to $200,000 (150,000 Euros) for their execution and commercialization. Biocat has reached an agreement with the Mexican company Alandra Medical Inc, specializing in the development of innovative medical devices, so that the products of d•HEALTH Barcelona fellows will compete alongside with other biodesign schools in the world at the Medical Innovation Challenge. The goal of the competition is to accelerate the manufacturing of these innovations so patients can benefit from them as soon as possible.

"We are looking for innovations in medical technologies that are internationally competitive, projects that have a low cost but a great impact on people’s lives" said Luis Soenksen, a biomedical engineer, entrepreneur and head of research programs and strategy at Alandra Medical Inc, during his visit to Barcelona to give a lecture at d•HEALTH Barcelona. "We are convinced that the innovations coming from d•HEALTH Barcelona will be excellent because the program has put together bright people from across Europe to find solutions to health problems that affect all of us."

The period for submissions it is already open. In May 2014 an evaluation team will make a first selection of the projects received and the winners will be announced in August 2014. Candidates will have to describe in detail the clinical problem they want to solve, why it is worth solving, how does their innovation overcome the problem, the medical and economic benefits it will provide, how they will use the funding and the support they will need to carry the final developmet out. "They must demonstrate that they have a working prototype of the solution and commit to work on the project for at least six consecutive months after receiving the money" explained Soenksen. In addition to funding, Alandra Medical will help "to get the ISO 13485 certification for medical devices and will provide support to entrepreneurs to move forward their projects in the final stage."

A committee of Alandra Medical Inc investors and specialists in legal, science and business will evaluate the ideas and select the ones that will receive the 150,000 euros. The Committee may fund more than one project, with 150,000 euros each, if they meet the requirements.

During his visit to Barcelona, Luis Soenksen showed two patented prototypes of devices emerged from a biodesign program to solve unmet clinical needs. The first one is a lipstick that contains glycerin to improve the hygiene of the ears and prevent ear problems in elderly and the second one is a diary to track pregnancy for women living in rural areas of the planet.

"The diary explains, in a very visual format, the changes that happen in a woman’s body, every week, during pregnancy. But what really matters is that it includes medical strips to test, with an urine sample, the progression of the pregnancy. The strips are included in the weeks in which a medical monitoring is recommended. A color code indicates if everything is correct or if the future mum should visit a doctor. We believe this is a very useful tool for women living in remote areas that do not have immediate access to a hospital. Currently is a prototype but we would like to bring it into market next year" explains Luis Soenksen.

Start of the clinical immersion

In late October, d•HEALTH Barcelona fellows started the clinical immersion stage that will lead to projects suitable for funding, solutions to unsolved problems that will also provide disruptive innovations to the Catalan healthcare system.

Until the end of December, the twelve fellows, divided into three multidisciplinary teams, will work at the three prestigious medical centers that collaborate with the program: the Hospital Clínic, Institut Guttmann and the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. During this time, they will interact with the medical staff and the patients and will participate in all the activities involved in proving medical assistance with one goal: to identify unmet medical needs to later develop innovative solutions. At Hospital Clínic, d•HEALTH Barcelona fellows are immersed at the Clinical Institute of Thorax, within the Arrhythmia Unit. At the Institut Guttmann they are seeking innovations in neurorehabilitation and at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu they are immersed in the neonatology area to improve medical care for premature babies and neonates with health problems.

It is expected that each team will identify more than 300 needs during the clinical immersion stage. Later, they will select the one with the biggest potential impact and develop a new product or service that will be pitched to an international panel of investors at the end of May 2014 (in addition to take part in Alandra Medical Inc’s competition).

d•HEALTH Barcelona is the first training program in biodesign taught in our country and with it, Barcelona has joined the first division of cities innovating in health technologies. The program is inspired by the demanding program FutureMed from Singularity University and the prestigious Stanford Biodesign Fellowship. Over the last twelve years, the later, has trained over 850 professionals, has led to the creation of 26 companies, has won more than $200 million in venture capital investment and has created over 500 highly qualified jobs. In addition, more than 195,000 patients have benefited from the technologies emerged from the program.

d•HEALTH Barcelona has the support of leading companies in the pharmaceutical field, such as Sanofi, technology consulting firms such as Accenture, entities such as the HUBc (Health University of Barcelona Campus), and agencies and public research institutions such as AGAUR or CIEMAT.

Biocat puts at the disposal of the media outlets interested footage of the two medical devices emerged from a program such as d•HEALTH Barcelona: the lipstick for the elderly and the diary for pregnant women with few resources.

Biocat: Press Office •
Mònica López  • 657 985 544
Zuberoa Marcos • 686 575 178

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