8 winning innovations at Hacking Pediatrics

general hackersHacking Pediatrics, now in its third year, continues to experiment with its format. 2015’s “Mashup” had a greater focus on partnerships, curation and delivering value to innovators at Boston Children’s Hospital. The brunt of the idea pitching and team formation took place in advance, allowing the event, on November 14, to be collapsed into one day.

The Hacking Pediatrics team (Kate Donovan, Mike Docktor, Meg McCabe, Cassandra Bannos and Leila Amerling) brokered collaborations with a dozen industry partners such as Microsoft, Cerner, Box, CVS Health and Boston Scientific. Over the course of a hectic 12-hour day, they worked with 17 teams of Boston Children’s innovators and experts from partner organizations who presented their final ideas to a panel of judges.

In another change for 2015, the Hacking Pediatrics team issued nine awards — but no immediate prizes. This was meant to incentivize teams to continue to work and meet milestones to earn real rewards, like a $10,000 design prize offered up by design firm Mad*Pow.

HackPeds logoThe majority of the pediatric products or solutions pitched came from residents and fellows, but there were plenty of non-millennials among the hackers—most notably, 97-year-old pediatrician and author T. Berry Brazelton, MD, founder of the Touchpoints Center, who came up from Cape Cod to join a hack that would help nurses tune in to children’s developmental needs.

Enthusiasm ran high, not only among the clinicians bringing pain points to be hacked, but also the software developers, IT companies, designers, MBA students and other mentors—and even the judges.

The winning teams and their projects:

  1. Most Fundable: Team IntelliOx won for a home oximetry information platform. In his pitch, Jonathan Levin, MD, a third-year Boston Children’s resident, noted that nearly 350,000 infants are sent home on oxygen in the U.S. every year, yet physicians often lack good real-time information about their O2 levels to guide necessary adjustments. Levin’s team had tech support from Microsoft NewEngland.
  2. Most Ground Breaking: Boston Children’s David Mooney, MD, MPH, continued to hack a magnet-driven device that would allow surgeons to correct esophageal atresia over a shorter period of time, without having to open the chest. His team included members from MIT, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
  3. Biggest Life Saver: Crisis Care, a smartphone app for preventing teen suicide, got the nod for its potential to save lives, supporting teens and their parents during the vulnerable time after a suicide attempt. It was pitched by Boston Children’s emergency department clinician Kim O’Brien, PhD, with some great assistance from Booz Allen Hamilton and TigerText.
  4. Most Fun: Hands-down this was Team KENI (“Kids Enjoying New Innovation”), which pitched a virtual reality robot that would “deliver joy” to kids in the hospital, allowing them to virtually explore the world outside their room and interact with other kids. Team members: Boston Children’s applications developers Binyam Tsegaye, Chris Butler, Jonathan Kaufman and Sean Sinnott, software engineer James Gregoric and Vinaynikhil Hiremath with pediatrics intern Brandon Hunter, MD, and help from Microsoft NewEngland and SIMPeds.
    Hacking Pediatrics
    HACKING ACROSS GENERATIONS: Nitin Gujral, Director of Application Development at Boston Children’s, with his 9-year-old son Nivan who hopes to dive into a hack next year. Below, T. Berry Brazelton, with Jayne Singer (L) and Ann Stadtler

    Jayne Singer-Dr Brazelton-Ann Statler

  5. Most Institutional Impact: Boston Children’s pediatric anesthesia fellow Aalap Shah, MD, presented Electronic Pre-Operative Anesthesia Plan, a platform to make sure the right anesthesia equipment and medications are in place ahead of time in the hospital’s 50+ operating rooms. Shah had colleagues from Boston Children’s Anesthesiology department as well as software developers from Cerner assisting.
  6. Best Patient Impact: Alyssa Chrobuck, a clinical social worker on the cardiovascular floor at Boston Children’s, led a project called “A Clear Improvement.” The team had a sewing machine on-site and prototyped new protective masks for health care personnel that would be less scary for kids, letting them see their provider’s face. The Boston Children’s SIMPeds program, Boston Scientific, CVS and Mad*Pow lent their expertise to the hack.
  7. Best Hack: Pill Square, a mobile app championed by Blake Martin, MD, a senior resident at Boston Children’s, is aimed at making medication adherence easy for kids and parents. Gamification techniques would gradually shift responsibility to the child while making adherence a parent-child partnership. A Bluetooth device on the pill cap would keep providers informed. Cerner and TechSpring, the Baystate Health Technology Innovation Center, pitched in on the hack.
  8. Most Provider Impact: Bubble, an app initially conceived by the Boston Combined Residency Program, would improve the distribution of residents across multiple hospital departments. The project was led by chief resident Emily Allen, MD, and intern Natan Seidel, MD, in collaboration with Microsoft and Matt Murphy of Boston Children’s Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator.
  9. Fan Favorite: Bubble

As the projects meet milestones, they will have the opportunity to receive additional resources and opportunities, including:

Hacking Pediatrics

The Hacking Pediatrics judges: