Software Development
Education / Events / Hackathons / Health / Universities

10 projects from Hopkins’ MedHacks that might improve the healthcare system

The student-run hackathon showcased ideas that should've been thought of by now.

College kids always close out the party, and Baltimore Innovation Week was no different.
Students and other members of the Johns Hopkins community worked all weekend on MedHacks. The student-run event marked the debut of the healthcare-focused hackathon, and drew more than 400 participants on more than 25 teams.
Lead organizer Ron Boger said he was inspired to create the event after visits to Silicon Valley and participating in hackathons over the summer, including the giant PennApps event in Philly. He said MedHacks’ healthcare theme highlights a natural strength for Hopkins, and an area where more innovation is needed, he said.
“If more people were excited about health, it’s amazing to think what could be done,” said Boger, who admits he doesn’t like to wear shoes.
Here’s a look at the 10 projects that made the final cut:
1. DVT Detection (Overall Winner)
Short for deep vein thrombosis, DVT forms when blood clots form in deep veins. This five-member team developed a device that detects the condition by beaming ultrasound waves into the vein. The medical professional gets the reading from a sine wave. If the blood is flowing normally, the wave stays the same. If a clot is detected, the wave shifts. For the win, the team of Emily Kilen, Amber Velasco, Rahul Tiwari, Adam Li and Kaveh Khorram got $750.
2. Project1 (2nd Place)
This team of Alissa Zingman and Ethan Nyberg developed a new way to diagnose compartment syndrome, which results of pressure to a limb after surgery, and can result in amputations. Zingman, who came up with the idea, said she was inspired because, “The current standard of care is terrible.” The current tool, a giant stryker needle that looks medieval, is only accurate about 30 percent of the time. The team developed a method to measure pH of an area using fiberoptic sensors, which they think could have up to 80 percent accuracy. Second place fetched $500.
3. MedMatch Help (3rd Place)
To perform medical treatment, hospitals need equipment. Members of this team observed a lack of supplies in the Caribbean, so they developed a way to make donating old equipment easier. The SMS-based service allows facilities in the developing world to post what they need, and hospitals in the U.S. to identify medical equipment they no longer need. MedMatch then identifies best fits, and helps coordinate the donation. The team of Lijo Panghat, Jacob Jaminet, Brittany Allen and Sindora Baddam picked up $250 for their efforts.
4. LeapMed
This project uses LeapMotion to help people with carpal tunnel. Using the device and an app, LeapMed guides outpatients through games that help exercise their wrists and hands. The team of Victor Wang, Himanshu Dashora, Benjamin Pikus, Parth Singh, Rahul Yerrabelli and Adam Polevoy won best LeapMotion Hack.
5. IdEar
Mobile health is rising with apps that make healthcare easier, but identifying patients remains an issue, especially in rural areas where there are no medical records. The team came up with an app that identifies patients by their ears and verifies them against a registry. She said ears are unique, just like fingerprints, and can be cataloged via picture. Team members included Emily Eggert, John Muschelli, Prashant Kalvapalle, Tashrik Ahmed and Neha Goel.
6. E-Merge
This is a project that probably should’ve been thought of by now. During ambulance rides, medical records aren’t immediately sent to hospitals before patients arrive. E-Merge takes the patient data, which EMTs already enter, and transfers it wirelessly to the hospital where they’re heading. Team members included Nisu Patel, Gabriela Frid, Amy Sun and April Lo.
7. BeatBand
This wearable is a heart-rate monitor for people with heart disease, rather than elite athletes. Connected with an app, the wearable can detect if heart-rate becomes irregular, and help contact emergency services. The team of Brent Millare, Andrei Kucharavy, Heeyun Schwarz, Suyi Lu and Jiayao Wu would initially focus on the elderly if they were to market it.
8. Nukleus
This team, which included Promotious cofounder Sunyan Lee, created a system to ease follow-up with patients after surgery in China. The cloud-based system allows medical professionals to analyze data that is inputted by patients, and features machine learning that can produce alerts for the doctors. The system also features a video chat function for when face-to-face communication is needed between patients and doctors.
9. Alert65
This app can detect if someone falls. Creator Jason Albalah said similar services already exist that can tell whether a person is moving using Android’s built-in accelerometer. But he wanted to hack on the idea to produce a system that didn’t suck up battery life from a phone. “Battery life is the most important thing,” he said.
10. Cavalry
This SMS-based service provides a walkthrough for people in need of medical care. It’s for people who don’t have easy access to medical care who may live in rural areas. The messages provide instruction on what to do in the first few minutes of an injury, which is often considered the most critical time. Simple responses about what type of injury or condition a person has triggers a treatment plan that comes up without repeated clicks. The team of Joseph Min, Zach Sabin and Gilbert Maystre said they could easily add features.

Companies: Bio-Rad Laboratories

Knowledge is power!

Subscribe for free today and stay up to date with news and tips you need to grow your career and connect with our vibrant tech community.


How to respond when a long-tenured employee quits? With grace

The opportunity cost of fear: Underfunding Black founders hurts the US economy

Tax incentives, return to office, a new tech hub: 4 takeaways from a roundtable with Baltimore’s Sheila Dixon

Equity at the Pratt goes beyond datasets and into the community

Technically Media