Innovation in Health Technologies

Where we are

SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

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The Sant Joan de Déu Health Technologies Innovation group aims to transform excellence in research and clinical practice into new products, services and processes that enhance patient experience and public health while at the same time decrease per capita spending in health services.

With a multidisciplinary team and an open innovation model in collaboration with other professionals and companies, the group investigates, develops and supports the transfer of technological solutions to meet the needs detected by patients or their families, by professionals at our hospital or other centres, and any other external persons.

We form part of some of the main innovation ecosystems in paediatrics and also work in collaboration with companies and centres in other sectors including ITEMAS (Medical Technology Innovation Platform), Kids Cluster, BIB (Bioinformatics of Barcelona) and The International Society for Paediatric Innovation. Furthermore, we collaborate with national and international institutions and programmes dedicated to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare.

Research lines

  1. "Liquid Hospital": Digital Medicine, e-Health and Big Data-AI, focusing mainly on the development and validation of ICT solutions that help transform the experience of patients, families and professionals and the provision of healthcare via telemedicine, e-Health and decision support systems (Big Data-AI).
  2. 3D4H: 3D for Health, focusing on surgical planning, 3D simulation, prototyping of medical devices and research with additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies.
  3. R4H: Robots for Health, focusing on research and development of robotic solutions to support patients and professionals in two areas: social robots and upper/lower limb rehabilitation systems.

Scientific objectives

"Liquid Hospital":​​​​​

  1. To develop and validate (with specific use cases) the infrastructure necessary to extract value from the health data generated inside and outside the hospital setting with the aim of advancing clinical decision-making, the efficiency of hospital operations and clinical research
  2. To validate and bring to market the products and non-face-to-face health services that we develop.
  3. To consolidate the different initiatives, products and services developed in a common and interoperable infrastructure.
  4. To research and develop new technologies to advance the provision of face-to-face and non-face-to-face health services.

3D4H: 3D for Health:

  1. To consolidate the 3D4H unit as an additional service to the hospital and its research groups.
  2. To develop and validate phantoms that simulate surgical interventions.
  3. To develop new materials and consolidation processes for printed parts to improve their mechanical properties and reduce production costs of final parts in the clinical setting.

R4H: Robots for Health:

  1. To develop and validate an emotional support pet robot for hospitalised chronic critical patients or those in palliative care.
  2. To industrialise and transfer a low-cost robotic system to aid motion rehabilitation for children with severe motor disorders.
  3. To develop a new research line in robotic systems to aid upper limb rehabilitation.

Area/Field of expertise

The Innovation Department of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital opened in 2009 with the aim of fostering a culture of innovation in the hospital and supporting the transfer of knowledge to society. The department has grown during this past decade extending the value of innovation beyond marketing and the transfer of products that emerge from our laboratory and research. We are now a highly qualified multidisciplinary team of physicians, engineers, and professionals from other disciplines dedicated to innovation. Thanks to our track record, we have joined with other project development teams, acting as a bridge between technical and more clinical research groups, providing knowledge of many areas and methodologies to reduce the risks associated with innovation processes (Design Thinking, Business Model Innovation, Rapid Prototyping). Our experience has opened up the possibility of investigating and generating our own clinical paediatric projects, especially in the areas of e-Health, Digital Medicine, Big Data, additive manufacturing and 3D and robotic simulation.

In recent years the group has advanced in technological development by creating the 3D4H Unit, which has two additive manufacturing machines with Polyjet and FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) technologies, 3D design and simulation systems and professionals with extensive knowledge spanning the entire chain from planning, simulation and surgical intervention. We have also gained invaluable experience in the development and validation of medical device prototypes.

For the "Liquid Hospital" and R4H research lines, the centre counts on its highly qualified professionals, the latest technology and real testing environments to investigate or validate products or to develop its own projects.

At present we have 39 ongoing projects, 40 patents granted of the 52 requested, 1 spin-off, 1 start-up and 7 products licensed to companies for marketing.

Group members

Last Publications

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Project name:
Plataforma de Innovación en pediatría y enfermedades minoritarias
Arnau Valls Esteve
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Starting - finishing date:
2024 - 2026
Project name:
Add4Kids_Accelerating Demand-Driven tools for pediatric innovation adoption - A collaborative roadmap for Europe
Arnau Valls Esteve
Funding entities:
European Commission
Starting - finishing date:
2024 - 2025
Project name:
PHEMS: Pediatric Hospitals as European drivers for multi-party computation and synthetic data generation capabilities across clinical specialties and data types
Arnau Valls Esteve
Funding entities:
European Commission
Starting - finishing date:
2023 - 2026
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