Hacking Health launches project showcase, “LaunchPad,” to highlight February event achievements

Live 2012

 Late February, physicians from across Canada joined Montréal technical talent to prototype apps for hospitals, caregivers, and patients.

Designers and developers collaborated with doctors, nurses, clinic managers and other health professionals to rapidly prototype health solutions at Hacking Health’s inaugural hackathon in Montréal.

A first in Canada, the event kicked off amid a Montreal snowstorm on Friday, February 24th, and culminated with project presentations Saturday night. A total of 19 projects were developed and presented at Thomson House on McGill University’s campus. More than 138 developers and programmers, 28 designers, and 66 healthcare professionals attended the event.

The project showcase, LaunchPad, is designed to help participating teams communicate what was achieved and build on the momentum from the event. VCs, health administrators, foundations, and government agencies have shown keen interest in following the outcomes of the collaborations.

Projects touched diverse aspects of health, from apps to improve the efficiency of hospitals to tools to empower caregivers and patients. Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Andreas Naparus, worked with a team of hackers to build an app that can rapidly assess body surface area of burn victims using the 3D depth sensing capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect video game accessory.

Dr. Jennifer Basran, head of geriatrics at the University of Saskatchewan, worked side-by-side with a team of designers and developers to build “iCaregiver,” an iPad app to support caregivers of dementia patients. “Its very exciting to see ideas that we have been thinking about for months being built right before our eyes, in a weekend!” Her team built a prototype which can automatically remind patients to take their medication, and alert caregivers if a dose is missed.

Projects were presented at a reception on Saturday evening to an audience of hospital administrators, venture capitalists, and invited government officials. $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded to teams to help them take their projects forward, and promising teams will be invited for consultations by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Over 30 mentors with backgrounds in healthcare and tech industries were on hand to provide teams with advice and support on everything from graphic design to coding, project management, and navigation of the Canadian healthcare system. Member of Parliament Marc Garneau stopped by to observe teams during the final hours of hacking on Saturday, February 25th.

Hacking Health’s founders would like to use the momentum generated from this event to expand the initiative to cities across Canada, according to co-founder Jeeshan Chowdhury, a medical student and Rhodes Scholar. “The fact that doctors and technology experts came from across Canada to participate demonstrates a need for this kind of grassroots, bottom up innovation in healthcare”.

Prizes awarded:
 

Health Innovation most likely to succeed Montréal Accessible
Most Innovative Health Solution Rapid Assessment of 3D Surface Area of Burns Using the Kinect
Solution voted best by your peers Tame Type II Diabetes
Best solution for Aging Populations iCaregiver
Best solution targeting hospitals TextRx
Best health education solution Medisync
Most likely to impact LDC populations Clinic in a Box
Best solution for child welfare Qi CV
Solution most likely to make patients laugh Is that smart?


What is a “Hackathon”?

A Hackathon is a collaborative computer programming environment in which small projects can be tackled in a weekend, generating prototypes for promising ideas in healthcare.

Why Healthcare?

• Healthcare is not sustainable and still functions with outdated technology (pagers, paper records).
• Top down approaches by governments and corporations have failed to deliver digital technologies to modernize healthcare.
• Disruptive innovation will come from the ground up by bridging the gap between frontline health experts and innovators in the latest web and mobile technology.
• We are teaching healthcare experts how to communicate and work with the people who make the web and mobile work.

Targeted Outcomes

• Develop working software which can immediately improve healthcare by solving known, bite-sized problems.
• Nurture long-term collaborative partnerships between technology innovators and healthcare experts.
• Attract Montréal technical talent to healthcare by providing them with a unique opportunity to make a positive social impact.

Who is coming?

• Forward thinking doctors, surgeons, nurses, and managers who know the problems that can be fixed with digital technology but can’t build the solutions themselves.
• Passionate software engineers, web developers, and designers who want to use their skills to make a real difference.
• NGOs operating in health like aboriginal centers and STI clinics that want to use digital technology to reach out to their patients but cannot afford to do so on their own.

What we are building?

Some of the ideas that will be worked on:

• Using text messages to reach out to HIV+ patients to improve drug compliance
• Geolocation and online maps to help doctors arrange house-calls
• Smartphones and instant messaging to replace pagers in hospitals
• An app to track waiting times across emergency rooms

Hacking Health Mission

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by pairing technological innovators with healthcare experts to build realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line healthcare problems.

A grassroots community to break down barriers to healthcare innovation. Designers and developers will collaborate with doctors, nurses, clinic managers and administrators to rapidly prototype solutions that can be put to test in clinics.

Our team?
We are a group of young professionals spanning medicine, technology, law, and policy led by Jeeshan Chowdhury an MD/PhD Rhodes Scholar specializing in healthcare technology as a Sauvé Scholar in Montréal.

Learn more:
HackingHealth.ca
Blog: www.blog.hackinghealth.ca
Email: jeeshan@hackinghealth.ca
Phone: +14388251700
Twitter: @hackinghealth.ca

March 5, 2012

 On February 29, physicians from across Canada joined Montréal technical talent to prototype apps for hospitals, caregivers, and patients.

Designers and developers collaborated with doctors, nurses, clinic managers and other health professionals to rapidly prototype health solutions at Hacking Health’s inaugural hackathon in Montréal.

A first in Canada, the event kicked off amid a Montreal snowstorm on Friday evening, and culminated with project presentations Saturday night. A total of 19 projects were developed and presented at Thomson House on McGill University’s campus. More than 138 developers and programmers, 28 designers, and 66 healthcare professionals attended the event.

The project showcase, LaunchPad, is designed to help participating teams communicate what was achieved and build on the momentum from the event. VCs, health administrators, foundations, and government agencies have shown keen interest in following the outcomes of the collaborations formed this weekend.

Projects touched diverse aspects of health, from apps to improve the efficiency of hospitals to tools to empower caregivers and patients. Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Andreas Naparus, worked with a team of hackers to build an app that can rapidly assess body surface area of burn victims using the 3D depth sensing capabilities of the Microsoft Kinect video game accessory.

Dr. Jennifer Basran, head of geriatrics at the University of Saskatchewan, worked side-by-side with a team of designers and developers to build “iCaregiver,” an iPad app to support caregivers of dementia patients. “Its very exciting to see ideas that we have been thinking about for months being built right before our eyes, in a weekend!” Her team built a prototype which can automatically remind patients to take their medication, and alert caregivers if a dose is missed.

Projects were presented at a reception on Saturday evening to an audience of hospital administrators, venture capitalists, and invited government officials. $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded to teams to help them take their projects forward, and promising teams will be invited for consultations by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Over 30 mentors with backgrounds in healthcare and tech industries were on hand to provide teams with advice and support on everything from graphic design to coding, project management, and navigation of the Canadian healthcare system. Member of Parliament Marc Garneau stopped by to observe teams during the final hours of hacking on Saturday afternoon.

Hacking Health’s founders would like to use the momentum generated from this event to expand the initiative to cities across Canada, according to co-founder Jeeshan Chowdhury, a medical student and Rhodes Scholar. “The fact that doctors and technology experts came from across Canada to participate demonstrates a need for this kind of grassroots, bottom up innovation in healthcare”.


Prizes awarded:

 

Health Innovation most likely to succeed Montréal Accessible
Most Innovative Health Solution Rapid Assessment of 3D Surface Area of Burns Using the Kinect
Solution voted best by your peers Tame Type II Diabetes
Best solution for Aging Populations iCaregiver
Best solution targeting hospitals TextRx
Best health education solution Medisync
Most likely to impact LDC populations Clinic in a Box
Best solution for child welfare Qi CV
Solution most likely to make patients laugh Is that smart?

 

About Hacking Health

Hacking Health is a group of young professionals with experience spanning medicine, law, technology and policy who recognized the necessity of opening communication and contact between healthcare professionals and the tech world so that the latter can facilitate the creation of mobile technologies better suited to the real needs of patients and providers in healthcare.

 

Hacking Health hopes to foster an ecosystem of health tech innovation in Canada and build an industry of innovative startups to make healthcare more accessible and efficient.

 

For more information, including a complete list of projects presented, visit Launchpad at projects.hackinghealth.ca and learn about the event at www.hackinghealth.ca.

Hacking Health was sponsored by Nightingale, BDC, McGill’s Centre for Biomedical Innovation and Faculty of Medicine, Montreal InVivo, GitHub, Norton Rose, Name.com, Sauvé Scholars, Yellowapi.com, Deloitte, RealVentures and Radialpoint.

 

Media Contacts:
Lisa Guimond
press@hackinghealth.ca

 

Jeeshan Chowdhury
contact@hackinghealth.ca
twitter: @hackinghealthca


 


“Hackathon” Event

A Hackathon is a collaborative computer programming environment in which small projects can be tackled in a weekend, generating prototypes for promising ideas in healthcare.

Why Healthcare?

• Healthcare is not sustainable and still functions with outdated technology (pagers, paper records).
• Top down approaches by governments and corporations have failed to deliver digital technologies to modernize healthcare.
• Disruptive innovation will come from the ground up by bridging the gap between frontline health experts and innovators in the latest web and mobile technology.
• We are teaching healthcare experts how to communicate and work with the people who make the web and mobile work.

Targeted Outcomes

• Develop working software which can immediately improve healthcare by solving known, bite-sized problems.
• Nurture long-term collaborative partnerships between technology innovators and healthcare experts.
• Attract Montréal technical talent to healthcare by providing them with a unique opportunity to make a positive social impact.

Who is coming?

• Forward thinking doctors, surgeons, nurses, and managers who know the problems that can be fixed with digital technology but can’t build the solutions themselves.
• Passionate software engineers, web developers, and designers who want to use their skills to make a real difference.
• NGOs operating in health like aboriginal centers and STI clinics that want to use digital technology to reach out to their patients but cannot afford to do so on their own.

What we are building?

Some of the ideas that will be worked on:

• Using text messages to reach out to HIV+ patients to improve drug compliance
• Geolocation and online maps to help doctors arrange house-calls
• Smartphones and instant messaging to replace pagers in hospitals
• An app to track waiting times across emergency rooms

Hacking Health Mission

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by pairing technological innovators with healthcare experts to build realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line healthcare problems.

A grassroots community to break down barriers to healthcare innovation. Designers and developers will collaborate with doctors, nurses, clinic managers and administrators to rapidly prototype solutions that can be put to test in clinics.

Our team?
We are a group of young professionals spanning medicine, technology, law, and policy led by Jeeshan Chowdhury an MD/PhD Rhodes Scholar specializing in healthcare technology as a Sauvé Scholar in Montréal.

Learn more:
HackingHealth.ca
Blog: www.blog.hackinghealth.ca
Email: jeeshan@hackinghealth.ca
Phone: +14388251700
Twitter: @hackinghealth.ca

March 5, 2012

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