MBRU’s Second Design4Health Bootcamp Addresses Health Innovation


Students in the UAE and the UK explore innovation

Multidisciplinary teams to collaborate with hospitals & health authorities on challenges

Dr. Thomas Boillat, Assistant Professor – Healthcare Innovation and Technologies, College of Medicine, MBRU

Dubai: Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) has launched its second Design4Health Bootcamp to equip medicine, design, and engineering students with the skills to innovate and create tomorrow’s health system. 

The bootcamp, an initiative of MBRU’s Design Lab, supported by Wasl, is aligned with Dubai’s mission to be the world’s most innovative city and a global hub for medical and health sciences.

Bootcamp 2021, which ran from August 8 to 19th, will see 22 participants including medical graduates and undergraduates from MBRU and Imperial College London (ICL); engineering students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and design students from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) team up to explore health innovation. ICL participation will be remotely.

Over the intensive, two-week bootcamp, the students will strive to find solutions to challenges presented by partnering hospitals from Dubai Healthcare City and Dubai Health Authority. 

“Innovation is rarely a one-person show. It happens when the right people work together in same direction and this year’s Design4Health Bootcamp represents an expansion of our collaborative approach to ensure inclusive innovation in action,” explained Dr. Thomas Boillat, Assistant Professor – Healthcare Innovation and Technologies, College of Medicine, MBRU.

“Extending the bootcamp’s outreach to four institutions, including one from the UK, enhances the initiative’s multi-disciplinary aspect.”

The student’s will first observe and interview their partner stakeholders and identify their needs. Then, throughout the program, they will receive knowledge capsules that will open a range of hands-on activities to move them along the innovation process with the aid of faculty from the four participating institutions, external speakers, clinicians, and digital health startups. 

“The teams will learn how to understand the root causes of a problem, how to define scope, to generate and select potential ideas. They will then create prototypes and test them in the field to make sure they address the pre-identified problem,” explained Professor Homero Rivas, Professor of Surgery, and Associate Dean of Innovation and the Future, MBRU. The prototypes will be presented to a panel of experts from the participating hospitals and health authorities on the bootcamp’s closing day.

“This is a truly collaborative endeavor to empower tomorrow’s healthcare leaders and providers in line with MBRU’s goal of realizing innovative healthcare education and research,” added Professor Rivas.  “The bootcamp brings a range of skills and thinking together to address prevalent issues and foster innovative solutions to improve health care delivery and ultimately benefit patients and our communities.”