23 Oct 2014
Hacking Pediatrics: a weekend of enhancing pediatrics
23 Oct 2014
Emailing + Healthcare ? “Will this work?”, I thought. Would hackathon participants successfully incorporate email into projects mostly hardware and mechanical based, sprinkled with a slew of government laws regulating communication in hospitals? There was only one way to find out…
I just got back from Bean Town this weekend where Mailjet sponsored a hackathon called Hacking Pediatrics . Brought to you by many familiar names — some of which include Boston Children’s Hospital, MIT, Microsoft — the hackathon recruited participants from all walks of life. This diverse and extremely bright pool of hackers lead the way for a weekend of some pretty awesome hacks.
The event kicked off with introductions and the itinerary for the weekend. Then, it was time for the group to discuss which ideas they wished to hack on over the weekend. After this was all said and done, teams formed consisting of doctors, nurses, biomedical engineers, developers; this diverse mix of teammates offered the groups great perspective and synergy that lasted throughout the event.
Hacking ended and presentations were given — we saw a wide range of solutions for a slew of different issues seen in the pediatrics field. On top of it all, teams used a variety of programming languages: some for iOS, others used Rails, and one team even used MATLAB — (a la wikipedia) “is a multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language.” Basically, it’s pretty awesome for simulations and other engineering computations — for Mailjet!
Some of the teams that used Mailjet astoundingly:
Using a 3-D printed shell, an Arduino, a button, and BLE, this group created a connected device that mounts to a child’s inhaler and monitors the number of puffs administered. If the child takes too many doses, it is potentially lethal to him or her and this is obviously a tremendous concern. Enter Mailjet.
If a child has taken one too many puffs of his medication, the device’s iOS app automatically sends an alert to inform the parent so they may be able to take the appropriate action.
Armed with an Xbox Kinect and MATLAB, this group gamified children’s physical therapy. The user stands in front of the screen and the Kinect. A friendly cartoon avatar (like an octopus, or other friendly sea creature) is then guided through a maze by the motions of the user, resulting in both a fun video game experience and a physical therapy session.
After completing the session, parents receive an email from Mailjet summarizing their child’s session and progress thus far.
Team Transition eased the burden of kids entering the real world of taking their nebulizer — (a la wikipedia) “is a drug delivery device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs” — medication. Strapped onto an ordinary nebulizer is a sensor that detects whether or not the mechanism is on; thus, treatment is in session. On the backend, there is an application that links to both the parents’ and child’s bank account. If the sensor detects the child has taken his nebulizer treatment, a certain allotted amount of money — much like an allowance — is transferred from their parent’s account to theirs, incentivizing the child to continue their treatments.
After all was said and done, team Crazy Moves took home the Mailjet grand prize of Chromebooks!
Thanks for having us, Hacking Pediatrics, and I look forward to next year’s event!
Endnote: It was nice — I hadn’t been to Boston in two years, and having gone to school there, it was nice to be back up. When I had some free time, I went back to BU’s campus, which has apparently had a lot of upgrades, and walked along the Charles River (If you’ve been to Boston and haven’t done this, you are missing out — very relaxing, especially during this time of year).