Recently, we had the opportunity to be one of the sponsors of the Jefferson/IBX Health Hack, an event designed to thrive on collisions between people from different worlds, experiences, and ideologies, where ideas become actions become real world technological solutions. It's centered around bringing individuals together who may not otherwise interact – say, an experience designer, a private practice doctor, a programmer, and a triage nurse – to dream up scalable solutions to the most pressing issues in healthcare.
When we first met with Jefferson and IBX's Health Hack team, we jumped at the opportunity to take part in an event that would address major issues in healthcare and (ideally) lead to positive impact on the lives of real people with real struggles. After hearing the vision, charisma and passion from the organizers and dedicated student directors, we immediately knew this wasn't just any hackathon. This was an event to bring together all walks of life with one common goal: to make a difference in healthcare and have social impact through technology and innovation.
The evening of Friday the 13th, about 250 people gathered in Jefferson's Alumni Hall for the opening ceremony. Inspirational speeches were given by event organizers Dr. Bon Ku and Donna Gentile O'Donnell, along with honorary speakers such as Dr. Klasko, President of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, as well as cosponsor Independence Blue Cross. Right then, it was apparent this weekend was going to be special; A payer and provider joining forces to empower innovation through event participants, focused on helping solve the many complexities weighing down healthcare. As Dr. Klasko said, "This hackathon is a sign of 'the new Jefferson'."
During the event there were three tracks for participants to choose to pursue: wearables, reducing readmissions, and drones. Of those three tracks, more than 55 problem pitches were presented, all very impressive! The rest of the night was left groups to be formed and people to grow comfortable with one another, and thus began the beginning of idea formulation with potential to change healthcare delivery as we know it.
Things kicked off early Saturday with technology sponsors including Microsoft, IBM's Watson, and of course, CloudMine. The group presented how their technologies and personnel would be supporting the execution of ideas being turned into action steps, prototypes, and functioning "Healthhacks" by the end of the weekend. CloudMine had group mentors and coaches on-site, including Director of Client Success Ryan Segar, to provide advice on building HIPAA compliant applications as well as general information about overcoming common challenges specific to healthcare information technology (HIT) development. As a fun giveaway for spending the weekend with our team, we gave away soft pretzels (because every event needs Philly flavor!) and CloudMine "retro phones" that hook up to any smartphone, giving you that classic landline feeling — a huge hit!
We learned right away how eager groups were to sign up for our HIPAA compliant platform, as they needed every advantage they could get to accelerate development in time for Sunday's final submissions. We're thrilled to say we had ten teams sign up for access, which led to six full fledged applications being developed on CloudMine — all in one weekend!
Ryan Donahue and Ben Moser (two of our outstanding Platform and Solution Engineers) hosted a workshop for "Healthhackers" to become comfortable with CloudMine SDKs, where they ran through current client use cases as a way to spark some imagination and provide tutorials. There was great participation with the audience throughout the weekend and everyone left Solis-Cohen Auditorium with not just knowledge, but inspiration and empowerment to build applications that would make a difference throughout healthcare.
Closing out the weekend was a high point for us, as the winner on the Reducing Readmissions Track, Shaw Levin, gave a shout out to CloudMine. His team built Care Text, a HIPAA compliant communication application, that was functional by the end of the weekend.
We're proud to have been involved with the development and prototyping over the weekend full of hard work, knowing so much personal energy and effort was being dedicated to helping prevent patients from future readmissions.
Here's to the future of healthcare!