The Medstart Hackathon wrapped up on 1st February, with dozens of happy and exhausted competitors.
Over the course of 36 hours, 18 teams brainstormed technological innovations to solve problems in medical education at the hackathon. The annual function was organized by students in the MD/MBA program at the Tufts University School of Medicine.
'SimVR,' the team that took home the first place prize, won for their vision of using virtual reality training to improve the teaching of clinical communication and professionalism.
Over the course of the hackathon, they created a simulation that showed the viewer pushing a gurney down the hallway and encountering a rude colleague. The simulation pauses and gives the viewer four response options. This tests the clinician's communication impulses in a realistic setting, mimicking the high-stress and fast-paced environment of the hospital. The team presented this as a behavior modification tool that would be more effective and less expensive than the current seminars used to train health professionals.
As the first place winner, SimVR received $2500, a month of free incubation at the MD Idea Lab, a meeting with venture capitalist Neil Chheda, and an extra surprise—Dell tablets, courtesy of Major League Hacking.