Medtech Hackathon brings students together to transform Chinese healthcare delivery

dsc 7493 Stanford University


Now in its second year, the seminar developed by Dr. Robert Chang, digital health inventor and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University, recently came to a close at SCPKU, having trained twenty more of the next generation of rising healthcare entrepreneurs.  The seminar is a one-of-a-kind hospital immersion and educational experience with cross-cultural interdisciplinary student teams from Stanford and Peking University on a design sprint culminating in a live pitch in front of investors.  The grand-prize Huawei Bluetooth wearable went to each member of the winning team, MonitorREIN, who presented a novel way to monitor kidney transplant patients at home using a specialized gel insert capsule in the bladder.  Audience attendees also had a chance to win Xiaomi Mi Band wearables through a Wechat drawing. 


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Pitch Day winning team Team Purple MonitorREIN
Photo credit:  Stanford University


This year, the course was sponsored by Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Peking University School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Prof. Dongmin Chen and Prof. Melody Li, and Director Huang from the Tongtai Zhongyi Traditional Chinese Medicine Institute.

The Medtech Hackathon event blends biodesign, design thinking, lean launch, business model canvas, and expert mentorship to help four teams of the brightest minds of medical, computer science, engineering, and business students tackle pain points in the Chinese medical system.  The students shadow physicians and interview patients to identify unmet needs and market opportunities. Then, they brainstorm solutions and develop rapid prototypes to test their ideas while obtaining real user feedback.  Along the way the teams incorporate real-world business models and receiving valuable feedback from physicians, digital health entrepreneurs, and investors while enjoying the entire process and building life-long friendships.


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Marshmallow challenge teamwork
Photo credit:  Stanford University


Besides MonitorREIN, the three other teams were Carnation Health focused on a telemedicine approach to postoperative orthopedic care, CANCAN trying to reduce smartphone-related neck strain using VR gaming, and Huhu, a real-time crowdsourced nursing platform for minor injuries.

“This year’s class was particularly impressive with their creativity and depth in business planning as well as the sophistication of their presentations in such a short time,” said Dr. Chang. “China has matured in the digital health and e-commerce markets, and the rapid pace of innovation in online to offline combined with sharing economies business models will certain benefit multiple industries around the world.”  The course is set to expand to include Peking University faculty next year.  Visit the program website for more details. 


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Final Pitch Day
Photo credit: Stanford University


Dr. Robert Chang can be reached at