Cardiovascular Center co-sponsors Ann Arbor Health Hackathon
The first annual Ann Arbor Health Hackathon brought together medical professionals, software engineers and public health workers, among others, to brainstorm solutions to global healthcare problems.
The “hackathon” included 24 hours of health-related “hacking,” which involved teams pitching ideas and creating prototypes for solutions to health problems. The event focused on preventing disease in underserved areas of the developing world.
Once the hacking began, 91 participants were faced with the challenge of creating a basic product or prototype in 24 hours to crack a disease prevention problem. Seventeen teams, ranging from one to seven members, each chose a pitched idea to work on during the event.
First place was awarded to a team that created child-friendly mobile apps allowing children to get involved in research studies. The team in second-place developed an app prototype for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Third place went to a physical therapy program initiative.
The winning teams were also awarded Ann Arbor SPARK’s competitive boot camp and The SearchLite’s Customer Discovery Program, which offers support through research consulting.
The Frankel Cardiovascular Center, one of the event’s sponsors, gave out the award of Best Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Solution to the team that developed a paper disease-diagnostic strip. The People’s Choice award, which went to the crowd favorite, was awarded to a team that connected transportation to grocery stores to improve healthy-food accessibility.
The event commenced June 24 for participants to meet and exchange ideas. Saturday morning began with three keynote speakers — Eden Wells, M.D., faculty at the U-M School of Public Health and the state’s chief medical executive, epidemiologist Mark Wilson, and Hamid Ghanbari, M.D., a cardiac specialist — who discussed the multifaceted nature of global health issues.
The hackathon was created and operated by Beatrix Balogh, a research associate for the William Davidson Institute, an independent nonprofit that provides emerging market solutions; Britt Johnson, a consultant at Integral Chain; Diane Bouis, the innovation programs director at The Inovo Group, an innovation consulting firm; and Neelima Ramaraju, the global health applications director at LLamasoft, a supply chain management software company.
Johnson said organizers had two goals: uncovering new ideas and uniting the community.
“Our goals are two-fold: to bring innovative thought and new design and solutions into a space where there have been a lot of traditions,” Johnson said. “The second is more local: bringing those diverse parts of our community together to talk and work on it and get to know each other.”
Read more in The Michigan Daily