d·HEALTH Barcelona: an edition marked by Covid-19 

The Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH Barcelona) postgraduate fellowship, promoted by Biocat to develop entrepreneurs and future leaders in healthcare innovation, guides multidisciplinary teams of fellows through a full innovation cycle, from identifying unmet clinical needs to designing and prototyping a feasible solution, as well as scouting for funding to take their solution to market. d·HEALTH Barcelona is inspired by the prestigious Stanford University Biodesign Fellowship.

In 2020, Biocat held the 7th edition of the d·HEALTH Barcelona fellowship, which was clearly marked by the Covid-19 crisis. Initially, participants began the first weeks of their clinical immersions at Bellvitge University Hospital, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, but they had to stop due to the Covid-19 healthcare crisis. Despite the situation, Biocat pivoted the program to have participants focus their efforts on identifying current and future needs associated with the pandemic, and propose solutions to address them through a virtual clinical immersion adapted to the conditions (43 interviews with healthcare personnel, patients and other professionals from the sector).

As a result, the three projects submitted were a platform, Damia Health, for early detection of perinatal depression; a medical device, Heecap, to prevent diaphragm atrophy in patients who are intubated in the ICU; and a platform, Be fast, for reliable early diagnosis of posterior circulation strokes. 

The fellowship concluded with a virtual Graduation Day event, where fellows got feedback from a panel of judges featuring Marcel Prunera, of Crea Inversión; Laura Rodríguez, of Invivo Capital; and Oriol Estrada, director of Innovation at the Northern Metropolitan Territorial Management of the Catalan Institute of Health. The event included a panel discussion on topics related to managing the impact of Covid-19 through the healthcare system. It also featured a dialog moderated by Daniel Moreno, head of the Innovation Program at Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, featuring Dr. Antonio Roman, director of healthcare at Vall d’Hebron Hospital; Dr. Antoni Rosell, clinical director of the Thoracic Department at Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital; and Dr. Rafael Máñez, head of Intensive Medicine at Bellvitge University Hospital.

Presentation of d·HEALTH Barcelona 2020 Fellows

Detail of one of the virtual sessions of the d·HEALTH Barcelona 2020 program