Innovation Place was bustling with ideas Saturday as healthcare professionals, developers and entrepreneurs teamed up to take place in Med.Hack(+).
The three-day healthcare hackathon featured five teams all looking to come up with solutions to different problems facing the healthcare system.
“The beauty of what we’re doing here at Med.Hack(+) with this hackathon is we bring the healthcare people because they know what the problems are. They see them all the time. Problem is they don’t usually know how to build technology. Tech people know how to build technology and do it really well but they don’t know what the clinical problems are or what needs to be in something to be clinically useful,” said president and founder of Med.Hack(+) Dr. Adam McIness.
“It’s really exciting to see some of these ideas. There seems to be a collective theme this year around electronic medical records, around health information and better scheduling of resources, better management of resources.”
For team OR Huddle, they’re looking to create a better way to manage/organize operating room staff and equipment.
“The idea behind this project is really a way to let people read surgeons’ minds or to put down the steps in the process so everyone in the room can know what’s coming up next. They can prepare equipment, they can prepare themselves for the next step in the tasks and things can go more smoothly,” said urologist Dr. Kishore Visvanathan.
“In addition to making things more efficient, I think people will have a better workday. I think they’ll feel they did a better job, that there is less friction in the operating room because surgeons’ needs are anticipated,” he added.
The surgeon has attended the hackathon before, once as an observer and once as a judge. Visvanathan says the different perspectives are why he decided to bring his idea to Med.Hack(+) instead of trying to develop it on his on.
“I think it’s critical to get all of these different points of view. I’ve had experience developing improvement projects across the healthcare system and many people will come into the project with a particular solution in mind. Then when you bring together a group with different experiences and different viewpoints, you start to expand your thinking and you usually come up with a better solution that’s more applicable and more robust.”
His teammate Muataz Badr joined the project because he thought the idea was attainable with all of the different people working on it.
“Instead of each person sitting at home and trying to do all this work and getting distracted every now and then, this way we get in a group, we brainstorm together and we settle ideas together and start working together,” Badr added.
“We’re getting a really fresh look at this problem,”Visvanathan said.
On Sunday, teams will present their ideas, but the innovation doesn’t stop after this weekend.
“We’re trying to get some mentorship for the teams to help them afterward, some consulting services and things like that to help them take these ideas and move them into the real world and not just to leave them at the end of the hackathon and have them drop but actually become real-world solutions that will positively impact healthcare,” McInnes said.