Aarhus University Seal

Healthcare innovators graduate

Last Friday the first eight innovators completed almost a year’s studying on Denmark's only education in healthcare innovation. The first patent applications are already in the pipeline.

Much can be done faster, easier, better. That was the conclusion reached by the eight so-called fellows from Denmark’s new and hitherto only innovation education specifically targeted the healthcare sector, after they followed the work of two hospital departments at Aarhus University Hospital during the autumn as part of their Biomedical Design training programme. They returned home with several hundred ideas for improvements for doctors, nurses and patients.

Patent on the way

The many ideas were boiled down to two and these were presented in connection with the completion of the Biomedical Design training programme on Friday 20 June.

"We can lift the veil and tell you a little about what some of the final projects were about. Both classes are currently involved in dialogue with relevant companies and they are ready to begin the patent application process for their innovation," says Innovation Manager Martin Vesterby from Aarhus University. He is part of the team behind the Biomedical Design training programme. He adds:

"It clearly shows that our approach is the right one. We turn the innovation process around so that it is based on what the users out there in the hospital wards need, rather than just being based on an idea that has arisen outside of the environment. There is no doubt that there is an enormous business potential in the needs-orientated approach."

A little of the veil was, however, lifted for the two projects. One deals with better and faster hand hygiene, while the other aims to ensure more efficient measurement and monitoring of oxygen saturation in the blood of intensive care patients. In this way, the projects fully live up to the aim of the new programme, which is to create more innovation in the healthcare sector.

Interdisciplinary focus

The programme differs from other continuing education programmes by its focus on interdisciplinarity. The eight fellows come from very different academic traditions including medicine, engineering and business development. The two classes who each presented their final projects were put together so that they had different competences. Mikkel Præst is one of the eight fellows. He is a medical doctor at Odense University Hospital and director of his own company which works with safety equipment. He has been exited about the untraditional approach:

"It has been extremely instructive to work with people from completely different academic traditions. We see things from different angles and I am convinced that the end result is much better when more perspectives are introduced during the development phase. As a medical doctor it has really sharpened my awareness of involving all relevant users in development projects."

The next class of BioMedical Design fellows will start in August.

Facts about the BioMedical Design training programme

  • Biomedical Design is a 10-month, part-time degree programme.
  • The programme is inspired by a similar programme at Stanford University, USA.
  • The programme particularly intended for graduates with a background from health science, technical or commercial educations.
  • A Master’s degree and relevant business experience are prerequisites for admission.
  • Eight fellows will be admitted each year.

Further information

Further information

Innovation Manager Martin Vesterby
Aarhus University, Inno-X Healthcare
Tel: +45 2026 7814