Three teams, including one that created an Uber-like, volunteer-staffed patient transportation service to increase care access, won the inaugural Inspira Health Nework / Rowan University Health Hack Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23 at the South Jersey Technology Park (Mullica Hill).
The teams were each awarded $20,000 checks as seed money to fully develop their proofs of concept.
In total, nine teams representing more than a dozen disciplines, fueled by a desire to improve patient care, came together for the hackathon. More than 60 participants registered for the event and formed small groups to develop ideas in four areas of focus: Health Management, Health Logistics, Health Process, and Health Technology.
Doctors (both of the medical and Ph.D. variety), researchers, IT professionals, scientists, clinical staff, graduate students, and other representatives from Inspira and Rowan teamed up to create solutions to some of health care’s most pressing challenges.
Each team made a three-minute presentation early in the afternoon on day two of the Health Hack. Judges selected five teams as finalists, with an opportunity to refine their presentations based on feedback.
Later, the finalists had five minutes to pitch their ideas. The judges scored each presentation independently before the presentations were tabulated and the winners announced.
The winners were:
- Creating an Uber-like, volunteer-staffed patient transportation service to increase care access. Rowan University’s Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D., research aassistant pprofessor in the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems, and Christopher Lacke, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics; and Inspira Medical Center Vineland Family Medicine residents Long Nguyen, D.O., Mohammad Rattu, D.O., and Amar Joshi, D.O.
- Developing and testing a portable 3-D fluorescent microscope for quick dermatologic diagnosis. Rowan University’s Ben Wu, Ph.D., assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Yang Qi, doctoral student in Electrical and Computer Engineering; Shengtao Sun, graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering; Xiao Hu, Ph.D., associate professor in Physics and Astronomy; and Geralyn Paterson, vice president of Physician Integration, Inspira Health Network.
- Using patient data to personalize treatment of chronic gastrointestinal disease: Rowan's Sangita Phadtare, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of biomedical sciences at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Joshua DeSipio, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Kirti M. Yenkie, Ph.D., assistant professor in chemical engineering; Manuel Pontes, Ph.D., professor of marketing and business information systems andSarah Graham, brand manager, Marketing and Public Relations, Inspira Health Network.
Speaking about his team’s effort to create a patient-centered transportation network, Parth Bhavsar, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in the Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems at Rowan University, said it will help people get to medical appointments, transported by family or community members they know.
In collaboration with faculty members, the group plans to integrate its ideas into two Rowan engineering clinics next year during which students will address the plan in multidisciplinary groups of two to three students. The team hopes to conduct a pilot study next summer.
“The best benefit (of this technology) for patients is that they do not miss an appointment,” said Bhavsar. “According to the doctors on our team, this is critically important, especially for patients on dialysis.”
“This event had two primary goals,” said Dave Johnson, vice president of Innovation for Inspira Health Network. “Finding innovative solutions to health care challenges was certainly a goal. But this event was also designed to fuel the partnership between Rowan and Inspira. And to help people from both organizations experience the creative power of working together.”
The hackathon was sponsored by Republic Bank, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Cerner and the City of Glassboro. The Inspira Health Network Innovation Fund and Rowan University funded the awards.