Announcing the first ever Hacking Medicine Post Hack Pitchfest!

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Hacking Medicine Hackathons like Healthcare’s Grand Hackfest bring talented people together to solve real world problems in health care. But after the hackathon, these nascent teams often struggle to get to the next step, whether it’s to keep the team focused, secure pilots with industry customers, or get early investments.

To fill this gap in support of health care innovation, Hacking Medicine, careinnovators, and Boston Young Healthcare Professionals are co-organizing a new event called the Post Hack Pitchfest on June 19th from 6-9PM! The event is designed to give hackathon teams an opportunity to make progress on their business before pitching again to industry leaders, investors, and customers. Our goal is to help propel these companies to their next milestone. Each participant will be given 5 minutes to pitch their company to an esteemed panel to seek feedback and gain access to potential resources! Also the winner of this event will be given the opportunity to pitch on the mainstage at Stanford MedicineX in September. This event is part of the Boston Idea’s Week event series.

Event Details:
Date: Thursday, June 19th
Time: 6-9pm

Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Seaport West
155 Seaport Boulevard, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

Who should come:
The Post-Hack Pitch is open to the general public, and everyone is welcome to attend, root for, and learn from the pitches. People representing health care stakeholders are encouraged to attend to make connections with the startup teams. There will be plenty of opportunities to network, provide feedback, and discuss possible partnerships.

Link to RSVP: Please RSVP for the pitchfest here. The event is free and open to everyone!

Apply to Pitch:
Applications to pitch are open to startups at all levels. Teams from any past Hacking Medicine hackathon are eligible, as well as other startups in the ecosystem. 10 teams will be selected to make pitches. Please apply to pitch here by Monday, June 9th at 5PM.

OrganizersHacking MedicinecareinnovatorsBoston Young Health Professionals

Wall Street Journal features HackingMedicine

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‘Hackathons’ Aim to Solve Health Care’s Ills

Problem-Solving Sessions Popularized by Software Community Take Off in Medicine

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Hackathons, the high-octane, all-night problem-solving sessions popularized by the software-coding community, are making their way into the more traditional world of health care.

At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a recent event called Hacking Medicine’s Grand Hackfest attracted more than 450 people to work for one weekend on possible solutions to problems involving diabetes, rare diseases, global health and information technology used at hospitals.

Health institutions such as New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston have held hackathons. MIT, meantime, has co-sponsored health hackathons in India, Spain and Uganda.

Hackathons of all kinds are increasingly popular. Intel Corp. INTC +2.13% recently bought a group that organizes them. Companies hoping to spark creative thinking sponsor them. And student-run hackathons have turned into intercollegiate competitions.

Full Article Here

WGBH/NPR Coverage of #GrandHack: Hacking to Improve Healthcare

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Hacking to Improve Healthcare

Hundreds of students, doctors, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs gathered in an innovation incubator at MIT this past weekend. Their goal? To develop solutions to some of health care’s most perplexing problems.

While most of the “hackers” at Healthcare’s Grand H@ckfest were from the Boston area, some came from as far away as Japan and India. They all had one thing in common.

“We’re all super-nerds here,” said Andrea Ippolito, a PhD student at MIT. “Super awkward. Don’t be shy. Don’t worry about a thing.”  Ippolito co-leads the student group Hacking Medicine, which has nothing to do with violating computer security.

“At MIT, we think of hacking as a really positive thing,” she said. “It means getting things done in a really short period of time and making a difference.”

During the 48-hour hackathon, about 400 strangers became collaborators. With diverse backgrounds and skill sets, many are new to healthcare. But that’s a good thing, because one of the hackathon’s goals is to bring new, innovative thinkers into the field in an attempt to solve some of healthcare’s most pervasive problems.


Order for Team Presentations

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Rare Disease
2. Facial Metrics
3. Rare Collaboration
4. Team Face Diagnostics
5. Eyely
6. Stride

Global Health Track
1. Data Wings for Firefly
2. Shanti
3. Shocking a way to Life
4. Eyeducation
5. Breathe Easy
6. Pascal
7. Naksha
8. P2 – Pill Counter
9. Breathe Easy
10. Sahara
11. AfriWorhty


Hospital CIO
1. Global HER
2. Decision Sense
4. Informed
5. Truevis
6. Carematch
8. Vidrio

1. Daily LifePlan
2. MyCare Track
3. Pervision
4. Patient DS
5. Lap Motion
6. Gogi
7. Naksha
8. PR. Online
9. MedSnap

1. Team Customized/Gradual Behavioral Change
2. MedApp Review
3. SweetPee
4. Pepper Analytics
5. Dialytics
6. LyteRx

Why it’s the best time in history to be a healthcare entrepreneur

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By Zen Chu 

Now is the best time in the history of the world to be a healthcare entrepreneur, and those with fresh eyes on healthcare problems — young health professionals along with patients, engineers, designers and entrepreneurs — are able to make large and rapid clinical impact.

As healthcare reform changes the way we pay for medical products and services, today’s clinicians and health professionals are entering the field amid fundamental transformation and new opportunities. Government and the private sector are adopting new models of measuring healthcare value and quality — along with new payment models to bend the cost curve. Hospitals and insurers finally have stronger incentives to invest in new technologies for preventative care and efficiency. Pharma and large med tech firms have pruned their own R&D efforts while partnering with smaller nimbler companies. These tectonic shifts favor smaller more agile companies to design new solutions to fill these gaps.

While NIH and government science funding is waning, new funding sources are enabling the testing of new solutions and business models. Funding sources for healthcare startups have expanded beyond traditional venture capital to powerful angel investor networks, venture philanthropy, and crowd-funding by engaged patient communities. Beyond the established healthcare markets, a new global middle class is driving demand for existing healthcare products and new services in emerging economies.

Amid these tectonic shifts in healthcare globally, medical students, young health professionals, engineers and patients have a unique ability to be healthcare entrepreneurs. They’re on the front lines of healthcare delivery — working inside hospitals and healthcare facilities — everyday. As new clinicians navigate antiquated workflows, artificially expensive products, and entrenched habits of both clinicians and patients, they’re asking an innocent question: Does it really have to be done this way? That simple question opens the door to redesigning products and services that existing hospitals, academic medicine and industry have failed to address.

Inspired by the rise of Silicon Valley lore and the social impact of new technologies, young health professionals now view startups as a vehicle for meaningful impact. A clinician’s impact has traditionally been limited to the patients she can touch with her own two hands. New technologies such as sensors, medical devices, diagnostics, software, mobile applications and services enabled by these technologies hold the promise of “scalable medicine.” New inventions that economically improve diagnostics or simplify treatments result in scaling medicine beyond our doctor shortages and amplify a public health impact.

But clinical insight is insufficient. For a new solution to make a real world impact on patients, it requires proof of clinical efficacy, a sustainable economic model, a willing buyer and a team that can bring it to market. Most health professionals cannot succeed as healthcare innovators alone. They have been selected and trained in ways that dampen creativity and entrepreneurial muscles. Especially in the USA, most clinicians lack an understanding of payments and costs to drive the business model insight to match the clinical insight of a new invention or process. Hierarchical training, poor hospital management, glacial reimbursement changes,  and fear of liability are just a few of the factors that breed a culture where superior solutions can fail to be adopted even when the evidence supports it. Often a product that works well in the US or European healthcare system fails when transplanted to a lower income country and needs to be re-engineered for the local clinical context.

Enter the Healthcare Hackathon — a process, toolset, and gathering which accelerates the creation of teams and solutions to tackle the complexity of healthcare’s toughest problems. Over the past three years, the H@cking Medicine Initiative at MIT has held more than a dozen events on four continents, in partnership with the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals and leading healthcare institutions around the world. Hacking culture — meaning clever exploration and engineering — has a long history at MIT and is now being adapted to healthcare challenges.

Through these hackathons, our teams and faculty have honed a process to identify and validate unmet medical needs while assembling diverse teams to tackle solutions with both clinical impact and a sustainable business model. Our health hackathons bring clinicians together with entrepreneurs, engineers, and designers to collaborate openly in events that span a few hours or an entire weekend.  Most important, more than 200 teams have formed to taste the entrepreneurial process and tackle a complex health problem, resulting in dozens of teams continuing after the events and a handful of venture-financed start-ups formed around reinventing solutions to problems such as medication compliancepatient scheduling, and lab report delivery.

On the weekend of March 14-16, we’re kicking off a Grand H@ckfest at MIT’s Media Lab, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and a few leading healthcare institutions. Healthcare leaders will present some of their biggest problems, in an effort to identify testable solutions and fundable teams in a single weekend. Tracks will encompass telemedicine, health info tech, rare disease diagnosis, diabetes, and global health.

(originally published on Kauffman Foundation’s


Jugaadathon – India’s first open healthcare hackathon

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In partnership with CAMTech and Glocal Healthcare Systems, Hacking Medicine goes to India

KOLKATA: JAN 24-26, 2014

Jugaadathon is India’s first open healthcare hackathon.

It will involve professionals and students from diverse backgrounds – coders, hobbyists, designers, health experts, clinicians and technology entrepreneurs – from across India and also from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.


Twitter: @Jugaadathon


Please do follow the twitter handle and facebook page for live feed.

Hot off the presses! Announcing the Boston Blue Button Innovation Challenge!

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MIT H@cking Medicine is PSYCHED to announce our collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Tufts MedStart, and the White House Innovation Fellows surrounding the first Boston Blue Button Innovation Challenge! The event is taking place  Friday, January 17th to Sunday, January 19th at Tufts Medical School, which is located in the Sackler Building at 145 Harrison Ave in Boston.. Also we will hold a Blue Button developer workshop on MIT’s campus in Building E-62 on Friday afternoon prior to the event.

Blue Button is an international movement to engage patients in their health through access to their health data in both human and machine-readable formats. This fall, all providers using MU2 certified technology will be able to support patients viewing, downloading, and transmitting their clinical data to a consumer endpoint, like a personal health record, or provider through Blue Button + Direct.

This codeathon is an opportunity for providers, patients, and the developers of consumer facing technology to come together to learn about Blue Button, identify high priority use cases, and build exciting new products that are ready to receive Blue Button data. We hope this event will foster collaborations that exist long after the codeathon ends. The ONC recently sponsored a successful codeathon on device data and health financial data in San Francisco, and we are excited to work with a new community in Boston!

The event will focus on use cases that take advantage of patient clinical data liberated through Blue Button + Direct, a technology available in all Meaningful Use certified technology starting winter 2014. The event will open with patients and providers sharing their highest priority Blue Button use cases which will guide development over the weekend and judging criteria. Example ideas may include but are not limited to:

  • Co-designed applications that can improve communication between the health care provider and the patient. (ie. care plans and notes that both the patient and physician can contribute to)
  • Simplifying medical jargon, content, and diagnoses for patients. (ie. consumer friendly definitions of clinical terms)
  • Clinical health information visualizations. (ie. interactive lab results)
  • Population trend analysis. (ie. seasonal, location specific tracking of symptoms at an aggregate level)
  • Patient record matching to clinical trials.

Check out more information on the event’s website. Apply here!


Critical Care Data Marathon

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MIT H@cking Medicine is teaming up with the Critical Care team from MIT IMES and BIDMC to host the the Critical Data Marathon,  which will take place on January 3rd – 5th 2014 at MIT. The event will bring together together various disciplines – computer science, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, biostatistics, epidemiology, informatics, business, health policy, and the social sciences – from both academia and industry, with the goal of learning from routinely collected clinical data, as outlined in a recent discussion paper from the Institute of Medicine.

The event will make use of the MIMIC-II database. It is possible to attend to the event remotely, whether as an individual or in a group. Individual participants can view the conference live and interact through twitter. However, we strongly encourage remote participants to host a local version of the event. We will be connecting groups with bi-directional video to the event, allowing for live interaction. In addition to this, local groups will be given remote access to the MIMIC-II database in order to participate in the hands-on workshop on clinical data. Please register remote participation.

Please review the proposed list of the clinical questions that will be answered during the Critical Data Marathon.

You can register for the event through the following link found here.

Date: 3-5th January 2014
Venue: 4th Floor, Stata Center, MIT
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Deadlines: Registration – 30 November 2013
Study Submission – 31 December 2013