Stories

Read about interesting projects coming out of Stanford Biodesign and the remarkable people who make them happen.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.