Hanging with the Hackers at MedHack

working_on_a_computerHave you ever attended a health hackathon?  If you haven’t, you should give it a shot, especially if you have caught the “entrepreneurial bug”.  I attended MedHack last Saturday in San Francisco, at UCSF’s McLaren Hall.  MedHack is an event produced by Prebacked,  a health accelerator located in San Francisco. Before letting anyone code wildly for 24 hours, they prepared the newly minted teams to tackle not just any issues related to healthcare, but some of the most critical, by having a series of brief presentations given by some insightful industry experts.  Here’s a summary:
–    Nate Russell from Tesla Motors talked about the need to solve issues such as on-the-job stress, depression, alcohol abuse and anxiety.  He felt the opportunity lies not just in people’s “behavior change”, but in “enhancing the right behaviors”.
–    Jerry Gross, the Executive Director of Digital Health and Global Marketing for Amgen, talked about persistence and adherence when it comes to patients taking their meds and following prescribed behaviors after they leave the doctor office, including getting timely refills.
–    Julie Roberts, a consultant with Dignity Health, recommended a focus on helping people easily know which doctors are in their network and what is/is not covered by their insurance plan.
–    Mark Su, Senior Principal Scientist from Covidien, would like to see a solution for integrating data from various data collection devices.  He also talked about including the rest of the family, not just the patient, in the healthcare process to help reduce readmissions.
–    Garrett Dunham, founder of Prebacked, mentioned the challenges of predicting member profitability, and also tracking and mitigating “cognitive decay” (such as Alzheimer’s).

I was favorably impressed with the speakers and the overall approach to the event.  In my view, Prebacked is an organization to watch in the healthcare startup space.  Stay tuned…

Hilary Weber, founder, Opportu Startup Leadership.  http://opportu.com/

Photo Source: Prebacked.com

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