Stanford Medicine Catalyst

Stanford Medicine Catalyst

Stanford Medicine Catalyst was established in 2020 as a result of a joint strategic effort between the School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children’s Health to accelerate innovations that will transform health. We seek the most promising ideas from the Stanford community and foster their development, test their implementation, and scale them to their full potential.

While Stanford Medicine is well-known for biomedical breakthroughs and digital innovations, we recognize the difficulty of implementing and scaling them to broad patient populations. Catalyst supports early-stage innovations by offering funding, access to industry experts, go-to-market resources and guidance, and more. We seek ideas across four main verticals: Digital Health, Medical Technology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics. 

Stanford University Hospital Euan Ashley and his team in a testing lab in Palo Alto, California, Friday, May 19, 2017.  (Photo by Paul Sakuma Photography)

Digital Health

The convergence of clinical care, information science, and patient-facing technology is transforming how patients and their clinicians manage their health.  Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Stanford Medicine plays a leading role in the ongoing digital health revolution. Catalyst supports digital health innovations through challenges they face in validation, funding, access, and partnerships.

Examples of this vertical might include an application connecting patients to difficult to find in-home healthcare or an AI driven video interface that is able to triage patients without the presence of a physician.

Medical Technology

Medical Technology includes any hardware, device, or instrument used for the diagnosis, mitigation, or treatment of a disease. Catalyst works with med-tech innovators and connects them with expertise in design and prototyping, and provides valuable consultation about regulatory pathways and market access. We work in close partnership with the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, the world leaders in teaching the art and science of med-tech innovation.

Examples of this vertical might include a device that assists a surgeon during a procedure or a smart photo assist for patients sending their physician a wound or potential skin cancer concern.


From century-old diseases to COVID-19, health systems, doctors, and patients around the globe need new diagnostic approaches to address complex health conditions. Catalyst harnesses groundbreaking innovations that incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics to transform diagnostic assessments and remote health testing capabilities.

An example of this vertical could include a quick, simple to use, at-home diagnostic kit for a contagious disease.



Developing successful therapeutic products takes many years and poses significant challenges and risks. Catalyst supports innovators in this space and works closely across Stanford’s network to leverage essential resources at partner institutes like the Innovative Medicines Accelerator, Stanford ChEM-H, Stanford Bio-X, and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.

An example of this might include repurposing a drug to treat a common disease or a rare terminal disease.

Researcher Kevin Wang in lab at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Monday, June 25, 2018.  He is holding a flask of cells that have been engineered to produce the Regina protein, a mammalian protein similar in structure to the active component of honeybee royal jelly.(Photography by Paul Sakuma Photography)

Interested in seeing more examples?
Check out our prior cohort projects here.

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Stanford Medicine Catalyst

Words from leadership…

“There are two basic parts to any great innovation: the blueprint and the execution. The Catalyst program considers both of these crucial elements in the market guidance, funding, and resources offered to ensure that promising ideas achieve real-world impact.”

Priya Singh
Chief Strategy Officer, Stanford Medicine

“The most challenging health care problems we face today demand interdisciplinary solutions. Through Stanford Medicine Catalyst, we are creating a bridge that connects innovators across Stanford Medicine to foster collaboration and accelerate solutions that meaningfully impact human health globally.”

Dr. Lloyd Minor
Dean, Stanford School of Medicine

“Drawing from the transformative potential of our Stanford community, Catalyst redefines what is possible for patients by creating a rapid and reliable pathway for new innovations. Through Catalyst, we can incorporate breakthroughs into standard care faster than ever before.”

David Entwistle
President and CEO, Stanford Health Care

“We’ve only scratched the surface in terms of what’s possible for digital innovation in children’s health. The Catalyst program will play a crucial role in realizing that potential, here at Stanford Medicine and far beyond.”

Paul King
President and CEO, Stanford Children’s Health

Program Details