We’re Back from the Institut Curie in France!

On June 22, MIT Hacking Medicine and AMPS welcomed over 150 clinicians, engineers, and designers to the Healthcare Sciences hackathon at the historic and famous Institut Curie in Paris. The event kicked off with participants pitching about problems they were most passionate to work on such as optimizing patient data usage, managing lithium levels in blood, monitoring schizophrenia, predicting the onset of an epilepsy episode, and many more. An evening of incredibly strong pitches was followed by a delicious assortment of meats, breads, cheeses, and of course macaroons.

Motivated by the three prize areas of public health, cancer, and science communication, participants came in bright and early to begin hacking on Saturday. The Institut Curie was alive with excitement and passion as participants eagerly worked to finalize their teams, iterate on their ideas, gain feedback from mentors, and attend practice pitch sessions.

Practice pitches continued through Sunday morning, where participants worked with haste to perfect their presentations to our panel of incredibly accomplished judges. We were delighted to be able to host the members of our judges panel, consisting of renowned experts in business economics, journalism, life sciences, research, data science, as well as reputable startup co founders and early stage investors. Final presentations began in the afternoon with judges getting ready to critically evaluate the work of fifteen strong teams.

After two hours of presentations as well as question and answer sessions judges gathered to deliberate the winners.

The Science Communication Prize was awarded to team Web Gastronomy. What started as a pitch from one of the team members to help his younger sister’s struggle with comparison, team Web Gastronomy worked to develop a personalized prevention tool to examine the link between emotional state and internet use in order to limit compulsive and destructive internet usage that often leads to feelings of isolation. The Cancer Prize was awarded to team MedChat. Taking into context febrile neutropenia, this team worked to invent a chatbot to ameliorate communication between the patient and physician in order to improve the follow up of chemotherapy outpatients. The Public Health prize went to team ERAssistant, a chatbot aimed to decrease waiting time in the Emergency Department by collecting patient history and medical data beforehand. Finally, with the aim of addressing access to medicines in Venezuela, team Venezvit developed a platform to provide medicines to pharmacies that would then alert patients of the medicine delivery, to earn the Grand Jury prize.

Empowered by their progress over the weekend, teams congratulated the winners and exchanged contact information to continue their work. A fantastic event was celebrated with champagne and mini dessert cakes. We wish to give a huge thanks to our generous sponsors, Servier and Cerba, without which this hackathon would not have been possible. Congratulations to all the participants, mentors, and the members of AMPS for a wonderful event!

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