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Healthcare Innovation and Design


Our programs converge internal and external stakeholders to develop technical, pipeline, and business model innovations to enhance healthcare outcomes.

Industry-sponsored projects

We partner with the industry, both locally and globally, on interdisciplinary projects that apply design-thinking and entrepreneurial skills to solve 21st-century problems across healthcare fields. Our students and faculty participate in an authentic design process that engages multidisciplinary teams in an immersive prototyping environment. These projects prepare students for impactful careers in healthcare, as well as provide opportunities for faculty to work with corporate R&D teams, paving the way for long-term partnerships in key technical areas. Project teams are assigned based on complexity and student skill sets, and are supervised by faculty and industry advisors. Industry partners are asked to provide compelling technical challenges and most of all be a dedicated mentor for the students, and in return, gain access to a pipeline of talented candidates as well as access to labs and faculty expertise.

Brain and Memory Care Lab

The Brain and Memory Care Lab focuses on innovation for neurobehavioral conditions. We take a technology-driven and non-invasive approach to supporting brain health. Extended reality (XR), electroencephalography (EEG), light stimulation (PBM), and machine learning (ML) are the core technologies that are applied to a wider range of potential clinical applications. Students have the opportunity to design and test prototypes, develop XR applications, conduct cognitive neuroscience experiments, and most of all, interface with our partners in healthcare fields. Current projects include: closed-loop photobiomodulation for neurodegenerative diseases, brain computer interface virtual reality applications for cognitive skill training, as well as dementia care interventions to improve the quality of life of persons living with dementia and their caregivers.

Strategic Health Communication Lab

Drawing from public health, communication, psychology, and design thinking, the Strategic Health Communication Lab aims to design data-driven and evidence-based messages and interventions that help people engage in behaviors and remove barriers that allow them to live to their fullest potential.  We seek to understand motivations and barriers that promote or prevent healthy behaviors, and then design tailored messages and campaigns to directly address those motivations and barriers to promote changes to benefit health and well-being. Students have the opportunity to work on a wide spectrum of activities from conceptualizing and designing studies to collecting and analyzing data in partnership with local government agencies or non-profit health organizations. Examples include conducting focus groups on oral health knowledge for San Mateo County Health and an evaluation study for Boat People SOS on a mammogram program for Vietnamese-American women.

Biomanufacturing Consortium for Analytics and Data Engineering

Massive strides in biological research have come, in part, from the use of advanced data analytics, moving us closer day by day to the commercialization and manufacture of promising new medicines and therapies. We have partnered with Genentech to create the Biomanufacturing Consortium for Analytics and Data Engineering (BioCAD) to upskill working engineers and scientists, enabling them to make data-informed manufacturing decisions. BioCAD focuses on preparing the workforce to accelerate the digital transformation in biomanufacturing by offering mezzanine-level training modules that are packaged for both asynchronous and hybrid delivery and integrated into different employee learning contexts. It brings together multiple academic content creators and workforce training channels (corporations, industry associations) to design, test, and deliver a modularized, active-learning biomanufacturing analytics training program with broad applicability to the industry.

Fellowship and Mentorship programs

We offer two direct training programs to enhance student awareness and preparation for careers in healthcare innovation. The Healthcare Innovation Mentorship program is dedicated to promoting exposure and skill-building, while the Healthcare Innovation Fellows program focuses on developing technical, design-thinking, and entrepreneurial skills to prepare students to address complex problems in healthcare. Both programs are open to students across all majors, and allow students to develop a customized path, in consultation with faculty and industry mentors, tailored to their interests and skill sets as they transition into graduate school or their first jobs. Participants are provided with a stipend, as well as additional funding for related expenses (e.g. registration fees and travel expenses to attend local/online workshops and seminars) to support their training.

Curricular & Co-Curricular Programs

We offer curricular and co-curricular opportunities to educate and train next-generation leaders in healthcare and medicine through professional development and vocational discernment. The Healthcare Innovation and Design Minor exposes students to the micro- and macro-level healthcare needs that translate into opportunities for innovation and trains them to integrate and apply their learnings through an experiential learning activity related to the design and development of a healthcare product or service. The Minor includes requirements in the areas of healthcare innovation, design thinking and entrepreneurship, and technical thematic areas relevant to healthcare. Co-/extra-curricular activities include the Healthcare Innovation Seminar Series, which enables students to examine diverse areas of healthcare through discussion and reflection. Students can also participate in extracurricular design challenges such as ideathons or hackathons relating to healthcare.

Contact Us

Director: Dr. Prashanth Asuri

Santa Clara University
School of Engineering
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053

Heafey-Bergin, Bldg. 202, Rm. 132