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H@cking Medicine and Harvard iLab H^3: How to Hack Healthcare for Undergrads Only!

This weekend marked H@cking Medicine’s first undergraduate-only hackathon, the MIT-Harvard H^3 Hackathon, held in conjunction with The Harvard Innovation Lab (Harvard iLab), Massachusetts General Hospital’s Medical Device “Plug-andPlay” Interoperability Program (MD PnP), Athenahealth, and Harvard’s Developers for Development.

The event was physically held in the beautiful space provided by the Harvard Innovation Lab.

For the event, engineering and science students from across the region came together to address major problems in medicine over an adrenaline-fueled weekend. Teams spent time on Saturday with clinicians understanding several major problems in medicine, such as long waiting times in the ER and at university clinics, unknown healthcare costs and accidental over-dosing.

Undergraduate student teams were composed of engineering and science students from a variety of local schools including Olin College of Engineering, Harvard and MIT. Students rallied around the ideas that resonated with them formed teams where they could apply their skills in prototyping and app development. Students spent over 24 hours thinking about user needs and designing solutions to fix real-world problems.


Congrats to the winners of the event!

ByPatient took the first prize of $200 with an awesome idea to help reduce the risk of opiate overdosing when using PCA devices. Family members often trigger the release of painkillers when a unconscious patient demonstrates signs of being in pain. Though this is usually a compassionate act, it can sometimes cause overdosing complications. ByPatient has developed a sensor system to be worn by the patient which may help reduce the risk of overdosing ‘by proxy’. Check out the team, and hear them explain how their device works:


In second place for a prize of $150, MediChat is developing an idea for a group messaging app for clinicians to communicate with specialists and defined groups of people.


In third place for a prize of $50, A!ertlet presented an idea for a wrist-worn monitor that integrates several physiological measurements including blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and pulse oximetry to alert patients and physicians if these metrics reach dangerous levels.


Many thanks to the energetic judges and mentors who provided helpful feedback and offers for future development help to the teams!


Judges and mentors from left to right: Priya Garg, MIT Mech Eng Student; Mahek Shah, MD: Physician-Entrepreneur, Co-founder of Symplexi; Alice Ly: Assistant Director of overseeing Health and Sciences of the Harvard iLab, Elliot Cohen, Co-founder and CTO PillPack, Victoria Bartolome, Business Development Manager at Athenahealth, Ayesha Khalid MD, Sloan Fellow ’14, Julian Goldman MD, Director MD PnP at MGH, and Justin Lo, Harvard ’14

Dr. Julian Goldman was one of the celebrity mentors throughout the weekend. Dr. Goldman is an anesthesiologist at Mass General Hospital, the Director of the Medical Device Interoperability Program (MD PnP) at MGH, and the Director for Biomedical Engineering at Partners Health Care. The students were very lucky to have such a great mentor at hand, and Dr. Goldman invited participants to visit his lab in the future to help develop their ideas even further. Check out his interview:

Article written by Shannon Moore, PhD | shannon@medtechboston.com | @ShannonMoorePhD

Shannon Moore

Shannon Moore

    Shannon is an Associate Consultant at DRG Consulting, where she helps clients in the life sciences approach strategic problems. As a new-comer to Boston, she's very excited about all of the medical innovation happening in her neighborhood, and loves learning about the people and resources that make it so vibrant. Shannon also holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering where she studied the biomechanics of bone regeneration. She can be reached at shannon@medtechboston.com.

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    1. Siddeswar says:

      Great stuff.

    2. Yes, it was a great event. Lots of incredibly bright people coming up with innovative solutions in healthcare. Thanks to Harvard iLab, MIT Hacking medicine, and MD PnP!

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