Philadelphia ‘Health Hack’ to Present Drone Solutions for Health Care Sector


Philadelphia health insurance organization Independence Blue Cross and health care system Jefferson (through its Innovation Pillar) are hosting a free “Health Hack,” which is designed to help reinvent health care access and delivery. This year, the hackathon will present drone-based solutions.

The Nov. 13-15 event, held at Jefferson Alumni Hall on the campus of Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, will attract health care professionals, designers, programmers, nurses, engineers and students. Sponsors include Comcast, IBM Microsoft and DroneCast.

A hackathon brings together individuals who may not otherwise interact in order to inspire creative thinking and scalable solutions. This Health Hack is tackling issues through the following three tracks: a drone-based health care delivery system, wearables and improving the patient experience.

The goal of the drone track, sponsored by DroneCast and IBM, is to allow people to research and create prototypes for drone-based solutions for the health care sector. Philadelphia-based DroneCast will showcase several of their 44 types of drones, as well as provide on-site technical support.

For the track on improving patient experience, participants will look at ways to reduce hospital re-admissions. For the wearables track, participants will focus on applying wearables, such as fitness trackers or Google Glass, to help patients and providers gain a better understanding of their health.

Winners of each track will receive prize packages from the event sponsors, including cash, as well as access to strategies, insights and individuals to further explore the potential of turning ideas into reality.

In addition, teams have already formed to work on other ideas. In the Drone track, the White Helmets, an Istanbul, Turkey-based nonprofit, is forming a team to develop new approaches to rescuing victims trapped in rubble from disasters.

“The Independence/Jefferson Health Hack is a very cool, first-time hack. Most first hackathons use common topics, like medical devices or process redesign in hospitals, but the drone track is really a demonstration of the kind of fusion of emerging technology and hospital innovation we wish to inspire in our ecosystem,” comments Ayesha Khalid, who is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hacking Medicine leadership team and advisor to the Health Hack.

More information can be found here.

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