Mary Gates Endowment For Students

SpineHealthie: A new way to experience virtual post-operative care

Faculty PI:

Christoph Hofstetter, Ph.D.

Immediate Mentor/Supervisor:

James Pan

Project or Start-Up Company Name:

SpineHealthie: A new way to experience virtual post-operative care

Lab/Project Website:

Work Location:

Harborview Medical Center

Work Hours (include recurring team meetings, special events, etc.):

40 hours per week, 9 AM – 5 PM

Overall Program Goal:

There is already a MVP for the app, however, this exists as a research tool. In order to facilitate adoption and traction, we need to move outside the research domain and adopt it’s use in a commercial context. The student will assist with design and implementation of key features, interface with key personnel in the onboarding process, and evaluate the needs of patients and providers in the context of post-operative spine care.

Intern Project Description and Responsibilities:

  • Assist the product development team in design and implementation of key features
  • Conduct user research with patients and providers through interviews and surveys
  • Gather relevant patient performance metrics and user feedback for research publications


Background in computer science, user experience design, statistics are all a plus. Quantitative (e.g. mathematical, physics, economics, business) backgrounds are encouraged. Familiarity with mobile app design, deployment, and common technology stacks will be helpful. No healthcare, medical, biological science, or neuroscience background is needed.

Level of Independence:

This will be on the more open-ended side of the spectrum as it essentially is an early-stage startup. Individuals with a passion for technology, growing a new business, and a good eye for design would be ideal candidates for this role. The intern will be mentored by Dr. Christoph Hofstetter and Dr. James Pan.

Learning Opportunities:

  • Learning how to work as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Learning how to interface with users, and incorporating feedback into iterative product design
  • If interest, also opportunities to participate in developing business strategy, business plans, and fundraising

Other Notes/Comments:

This position is for an intern who is passionate about developing new technologies that can help patients and physicians in a healthcare setting. The student will likely have career aspirations in entrepreneurship, software engineering, and product design. Aspiring physicians and medical school applicants are welcome if they have a primary interest in the technological aspects of healthcare, however, it is with the expectation that this will not be a clinical “shadowing” experience.