NavaBed, WiseOwl, CALM, and MediShare win Hacking Health Hamilton 2018

Winners of the 2018 hackathon

Health Hackathon 2019 @ Nov.8-10, 2019

Local television (Cable 14) conducted an interview with two of main organisers (David Kemper and Simon Woodside) before the event. Check out the interview.

The weekend of February 9-11 2018 was an exciting one for healthcare innovation in Hamilton. Over 70 participants gathered to form a dozen teams to hack together digital solutions for big healthcare problems.

hackathon 1

We all had an amazing time at the hackathon and we want to share with you the weekend in details. Want to find out about the process, participants and winners? Read on!

hackathon 2

Friday night: Pitches & team formation

We started out at 5pm with a pitch clinic to help project owners craft a great pitch in the event, while everyone had a chance to network at the reception, with light food and refreshments. Our official program began at 7pm with Nicolas Piperno, who came from Toronto to MC the weekend. Then the idea owners went on stage to pitch their ideas for projects. We had more than 20 fantastic one-minute idea pitches on Friday night. Some teams were already formed coming into the event, but most were looking for members, so there was a lot of activity as people networked and selected ideas and project teams.

Saturday: Hacking, mentoring, and 3D printing

Bright and early at 8am we provided breakfast and the teams got to work. The hackers were seriously on mission! The hacked all day and most stayed until we closed the doors at 10pm. We were fortunate to have an amazing group of 12 mentors from different settings of healthcare, IT, entrepreneurs, business people, and a patient advocate. During the afternoon, a dozen invited mentors introduced themselves to the teams and mentored the teams. We ran scheduled mentoring, with the mentors divided into three groups, each in their own conference room. From 1pm to 4pm we ran the teams through the mentoring rooms and each team had a chance to practice their pitch and get valuable feedback from two different groups of mentors. 3D printing and design support was available on site, thanks to the generous volunteering of Nicholas Andreae. He helped teams to design and print prototypes.

Sunday: Finishing touches and judging

Sunday morning was a lot like Saturday but a nervous energy could be felt at MIP. The judges arrived at noon and spent an hour before the final pitch presentations, talking to teams and getting to know with their works. The last hours before final pitch were quite busy, with teams preparing for the final pitch presentation and then at 1pm sharp the final ceremony started. Each team had four minutes to present their work and judges ask questions for two minutes after that. After presenting all projects, judges deliberated for half an hour and finally at 4pm the winners were announced, and the prizes were given out. The final ceremony ended with a group photo of almost 80 hard-working individuals who believe: Together, we’re bringing innovation to healthcare in Hamilton!

Our judging panel

Our judging panel was made up of healthcare innovators, educators and hackathon pros.

Dr. Dennis DiValentino

Dr. Dennis DiValentino currently maintains a private family practice in urban core Hamilton, in area designated as a Red Zone, which is an area noted for having far worse health outcomes than the rest of the country on average. Dr. DiValentino is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University where he recently received the Preceptor Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Pre-Clerkship Medicine. Dr. DiValentino is the current President of the Hamilton Academy of Medicine as well as the co-founder of Ramcare a Virtual Care initiative aimed at bridging gaps in the health care system through the use of technology.

Paul Brown

Paul Brown is the General Manager for Mohawk College’s MEDIC Applied Research Centre. Having worked with Mohawk for 8 years, he oversees international projects which include the creation of OpenIZ, an open-sourced immunization platform for Tanzania, implementations of the Everest Client Registry in South-East Asia, and educational knowledge transfers around the world. In North America, his partnerships include NSERC, IRAP, eHealth Ontario, Canada Health Infoway, and Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Health Care. He is responsible for the delivery of the digital health Technology Access Centre program which provides technical and business development to small and medium sized enterprises across Canada. A passionate advocate for innovation, Mr. Brown creates linkages between entrepreneurs, funders, and government agencies. He is a proud graduate of Software Engineering at Mohawk College and McMaster University. He has mentored hundreds of students to provide the industry with new future ready technologists.

Elizabeth Thorsen

Elizabeth Thorsen loves startups. Through her role as Sr. Events & Marketing Manager at Innovation Factory, she organizes several pitch competitions, including The Synapse Life Science Competition, ELEV8, and Lion’s Lair. Elizabeth spends her days working with Hamilton based health, tech, and other startups, to help them refine their business models, develop a sales strategy, and access funding and investment as needed to help them reach their commercialization goals.

Winning teams & prizes

We are excited to have such great teams awarded prizes by our Judging panel:

NavaBed won our first prize from Mohawk MEDIC and the Innovation Factory prize. This prize awarded the team iF mentoring and five 3-hour application design sessions in Mohawk MEDIC. NavaBed is an online data sharing platform that allows long-term care homes to show their bed availabilities to hospitals and care providers.

Team WiseOwl won the MIRA prize. This prize awarded the team a student research internship grant provided by McMaster Institute for Research on Aging. WiseOwl helps seniors by connecting them to people in their local communities who can value from their unique skill sets.

The CALM team (medicine dispensary) was awarded The Forge prize and the second Mohawk MEDIC prize. They won entrepreneurship consultation with The Forge, McMaster’s business incubator, and three 3-hour application design sessions with MEDIC. CALM aims to create a medicine dispensary that (1) notifies the old person when their next dose is due, (2) dispenses it, (3) uses a voice recognition algorithm to only open for this particular person, and then (4) unlocks the door.

MediShare won the third Mohawk MEDIC prize, the opportunity of having a 3-hour application design session. MediShare: Connect. Supply. Save Lives: Helps reduce the wasting of medications.

An Amazon Echo was awarded by Joule to a participant as a draw prize.

A huge congratulations to all of the teams who participated. If past experience is any guide, many of the participants and teams who didn’t win a prize will also go on to innovation success!

The teams

Twelve teams made it to the final judging. You can see all of the teams on our Sparkboard for 2018. They are:

  • TapLog: Seamless documentation through IoT in Long-Term Care
  • MyPeriOp: A mobile app to assist patients scheduled for surgery: A simple mobile app which can deliver timely perioperative instructions and reminders for medications - can help patients who are scheduled for surgery, improving their compliance with instructions and thus preventing surgery cancellations.
  • MediShare: Connect. Supply. Save Lives: Helps reduce the wasting of medications
  • Cognitive Pheno-type: Passively detecting early stage cognitive dysfunctions using machine learning analysis of typing patterns
  • WiseOwl: Help seniors by connecting them to people in their local communities who can value from their unique skill sets
  • Smartphone Dial Assist for People with Disabilities: Make it easier for people with disabilities to make and receive phone calls, with an add-on device for smartphones.
  • Medicine Dispensary (CALM): Aim to create a medicine dispensary that (1) notifies the old person when their next dose is due, (2) dispenses it, (3) uses a voice recognition algorithm to only open for this particular person, and then (5) unlocks the door
  • ReferAssist: A web application that facilitates medical referrals
  • Turtle: To help combat loneliness and social isolation by helping youth connect to the older generation by finding the youth especially university students Co-op/ volunteering options in retirement homes and or nursing homes possibly for nursing students using elements of design thinking to our approach
  • Safety Net: The Just-In-Time Social Isolation Alert System
  • NavaBed: An online data sharing platform that allows long-term care homes to show their bed availabilities to hospitals and care providers.
  • HomeChoice: Assists end-stage kidney disease patients with dialysis process at home by mentoring and collaboration

Thanks to our volunteers:

Hacking Health is a 100% volunteer grassroots group. It’s a cliché, but we couldn’t have put on this event without our volunteers. Planning, logistics and implementing for this event started in the fall of 2017 and was practically a full-time job for almost two months before to make sure everything was onboard, planned and the whole weekend ran smoothly. We’d like to thank our co-leaders:

  • David Kemper: Information professional specializing in digital experience & tech trends at McMaster University
  • Cynthia Lokker: Assistant Professor; MSC eHealth FHS Lead at McMaster University
  • Simon Woodside: Co-founder & CTO of MedStack

We have an amazing volunteer team, including:

  • Genevieve Jin
  • Yasir Khalid
  • Deborah Koenig
  • Dora Laurent
  • Hamideh Nasseh
  • Christina Nirta

And we’d also like to thank the group of volunteers who came out and shared their energy and enthusiasm to help organisers in holding this hackathon.

Thanks to our Sponsors, Venue, and Partners!

We owe a great debt to our sponsors, who are supporting innovation in healthcare in Hamilton and across the country.

Event sponsors:

local sponsors

Hacking Health National Sponsors in Canada:

canada sponsors

  • Desjardins
  • Joule A CMA Company (Hacking Health’s National Medical Partner)
  • Fasken Martineau