Hacking Health Montreal 2014
The Healthcare system is very complex but offers a lot of opportunities for improvement. We have all been to the hospital or know someone who has been and how challenging it can be. When events related to health and well-being of patients are happening nearby, we always try to take part as it gives us an opportunity to improve the lives and experiences of real people.
Last weekend, hackers invaded St-Justine Hospital for the 1st health hackathon held in a Montreal hospital. A health hackathon is an event where developers, UX designer and Health professionals work on tools or services make patients’ lives better. With 500 participants, this was also the biggest event of the sort there’s ever been. The theme was “Improving health of Mothers, Children and their clinics and hospitals”. Three of us at Yu Centrik participated and got to see how the world of healthcare would benefit from technology and where future trends would be leaning.
With only 2 days of work, the results were fantastic and showed some amazing innovative solutions to improve the health of patients, mothers, children and the work of health professionals. As mentioned by the organisers – All projects stand out as winners of the world’s biggest health hackathon!
Future trends in technologies to improve healthcare
The final projects showed some really interesting trends:
- Supporting personal health: Provide tools that empower patients to log self-care, such as enabling MS patients to monitor body temperature so they know when the optimal time to exercise, or working to make personal digital health records a reality.
- A move from digitized to cognitive healthcare tools: While there’s ongoing movement from hand-written to digital medical records, current initiatives incorporate wearables, augmented reality and decision algorithms to help with information collection, sharing, retrieval and decision-making. Load trackers and schedulers help reduce ER wait times, analytics detect autism so that therapy can start early when it has the most impact, and Google glass apps livestream surgery rooms to students.
- Use of light and images in therapy: Medical technology is freed from the barriers of natural language. Speech therapists can incorporate custom pictographic apps in child therapy and hue lights help non-native speakers communicate pain levels before and after surgery.
Overall, HackingHealth Montreal was a great event. The organizers did an amazing job of making an event that was lively, fun and that could make a real difference. We hope the projects will go on strong after this event and that new ones will take thing further in the next hackathon.