What will I learn?


Product design for a vulnerable population.

Feeding is a complex process involving 26 muscles, six nerves, and the coordinated interaction among several of the body’s organs and systems. In children, this occurs in the context of the parent–child dyad. A disruption in any of these systems places a child at risk for a feeding disorder. Over 2.3 Million children under the age of 5 nationally experience severe pediatric feeding disorders annually.

Our two-quarter class will focus on the pediatric population who have feeding challenges in the neonatal ICU, the labor and delivery room, and at home once discharged.

Our aim is to teach design thinking methodology as a pathway for medical device and/or systems innovation. In addition, students will learn the Stanford BioDesign method for needs prioritization, and storytelling techniques for compelling presentation.

We will use The Center For Advanced Pediatric & Perinatal Education (CAPE) at Stanford as the site for this immersive learning experience. Dr. Henry Lee (Neonatologist), Dr. Nicole Yamada (Neonatologist), Dr. Ruth Ann Crystal, OB/GYN, Olivia Mayer, NICU Clinical Dietician, and Kelly Andrasik, NICU Level III Occupational Therapist will be the participating clinicians. We will also be employing a standardized patient and using simulation mannequins to create realistic medical dramatizations. Further research will include parent focus groups, home visits and a clinical panel discussion.

Students will have the opportunity to receive training at Stanford's Product Realization Lab to create a number of prototypes throughout the two quarters. Lansinoh® will be sponsoring the course by funding our research at CAPE and paying for various student research expenses. Guest lecturers will be part of our teaching team, including Chris Linn, the founder of Feeding Matters.org, Jessica Grant, infant feeding specialist and Rush Bartlett, PhD, VP New Product Development at Lansinoh®. If you are ready to learn how to turn research into solutions for the pediatric population you have come to the right place. You will leave the class with improved listening and observation skills, synthesis techniques, and prototyping competence. Perhaps most importantly, you will be able to practice working in an interdisciplinary team. Teams may have an opportunity to commercialize their product or system through Lansinoh® or be guided to apply for grant funding to move to the next level of development.

Learn With

Teaching Team

Jules Sherman
CEO, Maternal Life LLC

Dr. Henry Lee
Pediatrics - Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Stanford

Manner Jacob
Course Assistant