Biodesign: How to find unmet medical needs, create solution in medicine and digital health 



Dr. Atsuhiro Nakagawa

Special appointed associate professor, 


Clinical Research, Innovation and Education Center, Tohoku University Hospital

Department of Biodesign, Tohoku University Hospital

Department of Neurosurgery, Tohoku University

Graduate School of Medicine




中川 敦寛 氏

東北大学病院臨床研究推進センター  特任准教授

東北大学病院 バイオデザイン部門

東北大学大学院医学系研究科 脳神経外科



Understanding the characterized need of target customer is essential and critical part of innovation. However, this has often been ignored; the projects have often been started in the laboratories or conference instead. We will introduce Academic Science Unit (Tohoku University Hospital Bedside Solution Program) which serve as an infrastructure for finding medical needs, and Biodesign, which is world known successful entrepreneur Stanford University program for medical device based on design thinking.

The biodesign innovation process developed by Stanford Biodesign emphasizes the importance of starting with a well-characterized, compelling clinical need before focusing on the development of any solution, including digital health. This shift from addressing medical needs entirely with traditional medical devices to a mixture of devices and digital solutions reflects the changing healthcare landscape within which care is migrating from the hospital to alternate, more affordable environments. It also shows the timelessness and broad applicability of the biodesign innovation process, which is technology agnostic. By requiring innovators to start with a well-defined clinical need rather than any preconceived invention ideas, the process allows for many different types of solutions to emerge as new care paradigms become possible through the application of emerging technologies.




Dr. Nakagawa serves as attending physician for Department of Neurosurgery and Emergency Medicine. He had been trained as Neurotrauma Clinical Fellowship at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital (2008-2010, mentor: Prof. Geoffrey Manley). He was trained at Global Faculty at Stanford Biodesign in 2015, now serving as Co-Director of Japan Biodesign and also deputy director for ASU clinical immersion program (>35 companies, >700 industry researchers have been participated since 2014). He had received degree for medical application of shock wave at Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University (mentor: Prof. Kazuyoshi Takayama, recipient of Ernst Mach Award) and the work evolved to mechanism of blast induced traumatic brain injury. He is serving as project managers in several projects including class III surgical device for clinical trial using pulsed water jet, cell searching engine, and hydrogel soft electrical electrodes. 

Published 212 papers (including proceedings in Fluid Engineering and Medical Engineering), 231 presentation as presenting author (including 62 oversea and 40 domestic invited lectures), 138 competitive grants and contracts, awards including Ogino Award from Japanese Society of Biomedical Engineering, Makino Award from Japanese Society of Neurotraumatology. 

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors


Regular Exhibitors

Venture Exhibitors

Academia Exhibitors