Yesterday my colleague Mike Lee and I sat in on the kick off of the 2012 MIT media lab health and wellness innovation hackathon in Cambridge, Boston. 5 teams will be tackling 5 projects/challenges leveraging technology to create patient focused solutions to improve out comes and quality of life.
It was incredibly experience, from the incredible meeting space, to the quality of participants on the teams, to the rich discussion and debate around the individual project themes. The themes ranged from how to use tablet and other interfaces to improve post operative care for children to quantifying pain and improving pain management to using the Kinect platform for rehabilitation after cardiac surgery to improving compliance to asthma management programs.
The teams have 2 weeks to creat working prototypes- they will be judged on several criteria by a panel of expert judges. The teams are comprised of students, sme’s physicians, and technologists, the common thread is a passion to Get. Things. Done The teams have access to the media lab’s facilities and several online collaboration tools, both in management of the project but also to integrate into their solutions/deliverables.
How the in the world did I get there?
AARP is a longtime sponsor of the media lab, and mike thought by being there I might be able to represent the perspective of the aging population, which was rather flattering.
As it turned out, most of teams seemed already to take the unique needs of the 50+ into account as the brainstormed around their topics, (time to start looking for a job?) but I got a comment in here and there, which hopefully were helpful.
This is my first hackathon, and i now know why that are so popular and effective- if the energy at this one is representative, I can see how they might be addictive.
We’ll be going back up on the 27 th to see the final presentations and hopefully party with the teams to celebrate their hard work. More then-