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China Digital Health Boot Camp


Needfinding, Prototyping, and Business Modeling to Transform Healthcare in China

Calling all UX/UI Designers, Developers, and Business Students!



Faculty Instructors  

Robert Chang MD, Assistant Professor, Stanford Department of Ophthalmology
Ravi Pamnani MS, Director of Marketing and Medical Affairs, Transcend Medical

Arrival Date in Beijing, China:  Friday, June 19, 2015 (orientation begins June 21, 2015)
Departure Date from Beijing, China: Thursday, July 9, 2015 (final presentation July 8, 2015)



- Learn how to work in cross-functional teams consisting of programmers, designers, marketers
- Observe the real-world healthcare challenges through direct immersion in a Chinese hospital
- Develop a working prototype through wireframing, web and/or smartphone app development, and potential integration with sensors/wearables
- Create a viable business plan with the support of Chinese business experts and entrepreneurs
- Pitch to VCs and advisors
- All in three weeks, sponsored by SCPKU!



As the Chinese population ages and the middle-class explodes, a healthcare crisis grows increasingly imminent. Public hospitals provide most of the country’s medical services but access to care and quality of coverage varies widely. Outside health technology companies (medical devices and biotech/pharma) and private hospitals jockey for the best position in a highly prized enormous population of newly diagnosed chronic diseases.

At the same time, smartphones have become ubiquitous, just like in other parts of the world. Mobile technology has already changed the way we communicate and interact with the world around us, and it is poised to transform healthcare. This is especially true in Chinese hospitals, where modern healthcare is in a state of flux. Creative care coordination solutions and patient/doctor educational methods are required to address health needs specific to China, with sensitivities to the cultural and environmental context. Teams will discuss healthcare challenges after an initial brief immersion in a Chinese hospital clinic, with the aid of faculty instructors and local physician advisors.

Teams will then develop digital health prototypes and refine them in the field. Finally, teams will put together a business plan and pitch to real-world VCs, entrepreneurs, and physician advisors. Methodologies used in the course are developed from the Stanford Biodesign Innovation process and design thinking as well as first-hand experience of the course instructors.


Seminar Format

Generally, lectures will take place in the mornings, with dedicated lab / project time in the afternoons. Several field trips will be interspersed during the course. There will be 15 working days from June 21 to July 8.


Week 1: Needfinding

Teams will focus on specific healthcare problem areas, and flesh out the clinical need of interest. The need will be characterized in terms of severity, prevalence, and economic impact. Site visit: Chinese hospital / clinic Deliverable: Well-characterized and focused need / problem


Week 2: Prototyping

Teams will brainstorm solutions to address their need. After filtering to the most promising solutions, teams will prototype their ideas using real product development tools. Site visit: Chinese digital health start-up Deliverable: Functioning prototype demonstrating value proposition


Week 3: Business plan and pitches

Teams will create coherent business plans, including operational and sales/marketing plans, specifically tailored to the Chinese context. Site visit: Chinese VC firm Deliverable: Pitch deck Final presentation Teams will present their business plans to a panel of Chinese VCs, entrepreneurs, and physicians, and will be evaluated by the course faculty



All currently-enrolled Stanford students in good academic standing are eligible to apply, with preference given to graduate students. Students with hands-on experience in programming, particularly for web and mobile applications, will be given priority. An official Stanford e-transcript is required as part of the General Application.  Please specify programming experience on your CV in the required Supplemental Application.  See "Application Process" below for more details.


Application Process

Two applications are required.  Please submit both online at the same time by April 22, 2015 (those submitted after deadline will be considered for waitlist):

1) General Application

2) Supplemental Application

Students should be notified of selection decisions by April 24, 2015.


Instructor Bios

Robert Chang, MD, runs a busy glaucoma and cataract surgical practice at the Stanford Byers Eye Institute while mentoring students in ophthalmology research. He also focuses on evaluating new medical devices and healthcare IT technology. Dr. Chang is currently co-developing EyeGo Smartphone Imaging for remote triage and is an advisor to multiple companies and medical startups. Recently, he won first place in the Philips Healthsuite Hackathon.


Ravi Pamnani currently leads market development efforts at Transcend Medical, a venture-backed medical device startup focused on innovative therapies for glaucoma. He was previously an associate at ExploraMed a medical device incubator, and a Senior R&D Engineer for Guidant's Cardiac Surgery division (acquired by MAQUET Cardiovascular in 2008). Ravi is an alumnus of Stanford’s Biodesign Innovation Fellowship program, and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, both from Stanford University. He is a frequent lecturer on medical device development and innovation.


More Information

Please contact Dr. Chang at with Summer Seminar as email subject. Click here for more details on student expenses SCPKU will cover and other general program details.




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