These 6 MedHacks projects provide a look at healthcare's future - Baltimore


Sep. 11, 2017 11:59 am

These 6 MedHacks projects provide a look at healthcare’s future

It was the third year for Johns Hopkins' student-run, health-focused hackathon. Projects brought sensors to beds and pill boxes, and created apps to test coughs and tremors.

Health+ team members make their final pitch to judges.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Sleeping bags and laptops in tow, the participants of MedHacks filed into the Turner Auditorium at Johns Hopkins Hospital on Sunday afternoon to listen to the finalists make their pitch to judges.

In the third year of the event, the health-focused hackathon organized by Johns Hopkins students drew 99 teams from Sept. 8-10. Along with Hopkins, participants were gathered from the University of Maryland, as well as colleges across the country like Stanford and MIT. Canada was also represented.

According to organizer Burton Ye, 650 participants were assembled for the opening ceremony when the weekend began on Friday. They heard from former NAACP President (and Maryland gubernatorial candidate) Ben Jealous, and Johns Hopkins Medicine Sr. VP of Patient Quality Peter Pronovost.

So what did they come up with? Here’s a look at the six finalists:

Active Bed Sore Prevention (Overall Winner)

  • The team of Mitch Gaines, Muskaan Kholsa and Ruchee Shrestha set out to address the problem of bed sores, which form as a result of pressure for patients lying down. The team created a smart bed that tracks pressure points and can inflate pockets of the bed to prevent the sores from forming.

Paper-Based Microfluidic Point of Care Diagnostics (2nd place)

  • To spread microfluidics to areas that struggle with access to healthcare, this team looked to bring in paper. Some of the other tools included coffee filters, a crayon, a heat gun and tape.

Parkinson’s Telemonitoring (3rd place)

  • This five-member team looked to provide a way to help manage the medication of patients with Parkinson’s disease. The team created an app that tests hand tremors using voice and accelerometer. With results that are sent from the app, a doctor can assess how a patient is doing and make decision about medication as needed.


  • Many of the projects took on the issue of medication adherence, or, making sure that people take their pills. This team of Abdurahman Sherif and Aditya Murali created a system that provides data analytics on some of the same info a doctor gathers during a physical, as well as info that is specific to the medication. This project won the medication adherence track.


  • This team tackled medication adherence at the point where the pills are dispensed. The pill box is built with sensors that notify an app when pills are taken. The app also provides daily reminders.


  • This team is “demystifying coughs.” They created an app which records a cough, then analyzes it using a “cough severity score.” The team included Shiv Kaul, Shirley Chen, Jaehwan Kim and Nam Nguyen. This team won the patient safety track.

Ready for more hacking? The fall edition of HopHacks is this weekend at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus.




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