So, my classmate Alice and I braved winter storm Jonas this past weekend to attend our very first hackathon! The 2016 Yale Healthcare Hackathon, organized by the Yale Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology (CBIT) and the Yale-New Haven Health System (YNHHS). The theme was: Re-engineering the Patient Experience & Provider Engagement. The hackathon, at yale School of medicine, was attended by 235 participants from all kinds of backgrounds and several colleges.
So for anyone unfamiliar with what a hackathon is - It is a short intense event in which people come together to solve a problem. It is really fun especially because you get to meet people from diverse backgrounds and you get solutions which can sometimes even lead to a great business idea that you follow through with. Patient Bank is one of the companies formed out of the Yale healthcare hackathon. So the first day of the hackathon, several people presented their perceived "Pain points". A pain point is a problem they perceived with the medical system, healthcare or patient experience. Everyone then reached out to others with similar ideas and after some interaction organically formed groups of people interested int he same pain point.
The pain point I presented and what we worked on was the inability of a patient's family member to track the care being given to the patient if they were admitted to hospital. The location of the patient within the hospital, processes scheduled, doctors visits are all information which are not easily available to family members. Our team had an amazing group of people from all different fields related to healthcare, patient experience, technology and design. I was really happy to introduce my teammates to the process of Design thinking and human centered design and we used that throughout the hackathon. This was a really great experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to learn how to solve problems collaboratively.