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.