Baltimore high school students devised health solutions at a JHU hackathon - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Apr. 11, 2018 12:59 pm

Baltimore high school students devised health solutions at a JHU hackathon

Mini MedHacks, held April 9, is a community of extension of Johns Hopkins' student-run hackathon.

MedBook makes the winning pitch.

(Photo courtesy of MedHacks)

This post was updated at 1:30 p.m. on 4/11/18.

Johns Hopkins’ student-run medical hackathon made a spring appearance over the weekend to give Baltimore high school students a platform to work on tech projects.

Mini MedHacks, held April 7, drew 30 high school seniors to the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing who participate in local healthcare leadership academy MERIT. Founded in 2010 by former high school biology teacher Tyler Mains, MERIT offers an academic and career mentorship program to high school students. They also work in hospitals and labs during paid summer internships. Last year, students in the program represented 19 high schools across the city.

At the one-day hackathon, high school seniors formed teams to take on healthcare challenges, and presented solutions to a panel of judges.

“The teams had many innovative solutions to problems in emergency medicine, including apps to decrease patient wait time and facilitate patient/doctor communicate after an ER visit,” said Zenny Chu, a JHU undergraduate who is on the organizing team of MedHacks. “The winning team devised an app called MedBook, which helped connect patients to doctors.”

The event also sought to feature workshops on app development and Arduino. Amir Manbachi, a faculty member at the university’s Center for Bioengineering and Design, gave a keynote.

For MedHacks, it’s an extension of programming beyond its fall hackathon, which drew 700 participants from universities around the country in 2017. Going forward, the hackathon organizers are hoping to expand community partnerships.

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