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Ann Biomed Eng. 2017 May;45(5):1163-1171. doi: 10.1007/s10439-016-1777-1. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

The Impact of Postgraduate Health Technology Innovation Training: Outcomes of the Stanford Biodesign Fellowship.

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Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, E100, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, Stanford University, 318 Campus Drive, E100, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.


Stanford Biodesign launched its Innovation Fellowship in 2001 as a first-of-its kind postgraduate training experience for teaching biomedical technology innovators a need-driven process for developing medical technologies and delivering them to patients. Since then, many design-oriented educational programs have been initiated, yet the impact of this type of training remains poorly understood. This study measures the career focus, leadership trajectory, and productivity of 114 Biodesign Innovation Fellowship alumni based on survey data and public career information. It also compares alumni on certain publicly available metrics to finalists interviewed but not selected. Overall, 60% of alumni are employed in health technology in contrast to 35% of finalists interviewed but not selected. On leadership, 72% of alumni hold managerial or higher positions compared to 48% of the finalist group. A total of 67% of alumni reported that the fellowship had been "extremely beneficial" on their careers. As a measure of technology translation, more than 440,000 patients have been reached with technologies developed directly out of the Biodesign Innovation Fellowship, with another 1,000,000+ aided by solutions initiated by alumni after their training. This study suggests a positive impact of the fellowship program on the career focus, leadership, and productivity of its alumni.


Biodesign; Biomedical engineering; Biomedical technology; Health technology; Innovation; Innovation Fellowship

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