Reability – Born in HH Milano

Team interview

1. How did your project start off?

It all started when Chai and Antonello won a Leap Motion device during an hack contest. We decided from there to develop a new brand application using such a device. Since our thesis is related to the healthcare sector, we decided to develop something that can really help other people but at the same time also entertaining and funny to use. Our choice was a series of games using the Leap Motion as controller and our target users are people experiencing trauma/difficulties in using their hands. We asked Jole to join our team since we needed a designer for the games and then Angela and Valentina provide the scientific validation of our idea in term of rehabilitation exercises.

2. How did you manage to end up with a working prototype in a weekend?

Over the cours of the hackathon we developed a working Windows application and implemented 3 different games, each for the 3 different exercises for hand rehabilitation. Valentina reported a list of valid rehabilitation exercises with detailed description and reasonings. Angela and Jole produced all the design elements and the UI/UX for the games and the application. Chai and Antonello worked on the code unifying the graphics with the business logic strictly respecting the scientific proof and descriptions provided by Valentina.

3. Tell us about your team

We’re five people: Chai, Antonello (both Engineering students) and Jole (Product Design student) know each other from their bachelor degree at Politecnico di Milano, while Valentina (physiotherapist) and Angela (PhD candidate in Healthcare Innovation and Design) joined the group during the Sparkboard session as they saw our project as an practical outlet for their specialties. The group didn’t change during the hackathon.

4. What has been the outcome so far?

Lots of things: we’ve worked on our business plan, we were able to run some testing and validating in a hospital environment, and benefit from a 9 month incubation program at PoliHub in Milan.

“We learned how to work together, how to achieve a common goal despite coming from so many different fields of interest and backgrounds.”

.5. What are your accomplishments? Visibility? (conference, media…)

Prizes (PoliHub, Health&Well-being and Hacking Health Community Prize) Interview, 9 months in the Polihub incubator, the chance to obtain consultancy from specialists in a wide range of fields (legal, PR&communication, ICT services, administration, fund raising and tutoring).

6. Any plans for the future?

We aim to develop a complete and fully working application for both Windows and Mac OS. We’ve also planned to build new engaging games to support more and more rehabilitation exercises. Currently we are incubated at the Startup Incubator at PoliHub and thanks to its support network (like Attoma / Sege) we are able to study our target Market and write a Business plan in order to go from project to a formal business entity.

7. Regardless of the progress of the project, what did you learn? What was the most useful insight you gained?

We learned how to work together, how to achieve a common goal despite coming from so many different fields of interest and backgrounds. The hackathon itself was a great experience because we learned the value of sharing perspectives – it was a really captivating and engaging experience, because the hackathon allowed us to experience key moments in business building. By requiring us to think about the revenue model, it replicated some aspects of a true business-context, and gave us a preview of what it would be like working as a team to carry this project further.

8. Could you give us 2-3 testimonial quotes to convince partners to support HH?

– Hacking Health is great because it represents the first real attempt to change and innovate the Healthcare culture.
– You can make the difference by being part of a project aiming to find a solution to a very real need.
– At Hacking Health everyone can be a solution provider

9. What would you say to potential participants?

I would tell them to come prepared to experiment new solutions, even if they sound crazy. Come with your friends and ask around ahead of times what type of healthcare problems they might be experiencing. A good idea is one that solve real problem.

Valérie DoréReability – Born in HH Milano
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AquitHealth – born in HH Strasbourg

Hacking Health Success Story

Startup AquitHealth and Hacking Health

Imagine a patient who has a complex condition and who needs to be treated with a combination of drugs. His treating physician is familiar with all the drugs prescribed but is unsure of the possible interactions between them. So, he calls the pharmacovigilance service to get advice. Louis is the one who answers these calls.

Louis teamed up with 5 other medical interns who are challenged by problems in their everyday practice and were motivated to bring innovative solutions to pitch a drug interaction app. The “best solution targeting clinical physicians” was born at Hacking Health Camp in Strasbourg, in March 2015, with the app DrugSquare. The app answers physicians’ questions on the known risks and interactions of drug combinations and processes. It presents the information in a clear, transparent way, approved by competent authorities.

“HH Camp was a turning point for the team”, explains Clément, one of AquitHealth leaders, “we experienced an intense weekend where our professional complementarity and transversal approach to medecine galvanized our project and gave us the conviction we were responding to concrete needs”. Their first apps DrugSquare and BBSanté benefit from the experience and know-how of the 6 AquitHealth leaders: Louis, expert in public health and pharmacovigilance; Edouard, focused on epidemiology research; Sébastien and Clément with medical IT experience; Thomas, who is studying health economics and the impact of new technologies in the health system; and Pierre-Antoine, who works on obtaining approval from regional authorities.

AquitHealth has been accompanied by UNITEC and AECOM to structure their business model, answer intellectual property and other legal questions. Their mission is to create “Safe apps by doctors”, with the support of institutions such as Bordeaux University Hospital and Health TIC Cluster to accelerate dynamism and communication.

This conjuncture served as a stepping stone to another ambitious project: bring Hacking Health to Bordeaux and organize a hackathon in the fall of 2016 to gather the digital health community ecosystem in their home city, recruit developers and help new project ideas come to reality. AquitHealth is faithful to its homeland Aquitaine in the southwestern corner of France, and aims at bringing medical experience in health innovation to create innovative tools adapted to the needs of the field.

“Our motivation is to contribute to public health prevention and combine our passions for medicine and IT.

We are entrepreneurs at heart and we felt a strong emotion at our first demo night at HHCamp!”


Join us at the 2016 Bordeaux Hackathon!

Download: AquitHealth-borninHHStrasbourg

Valérie DoréAquitHealth – born in HH Strasbourg
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HH Valais 2015 Arkathon winner: Eyeware

La souris virtuelle Eyeware, gagnante du premier Arkathon Hacking Health Valais en juin dernier, a intégré le programme d’accélération The Ark dans le domaine du e-health. Son objectif: commercialiser une première version de son produit au début 2016 déjà! Ce soutien intensif et spécifique fait partie intégrante du prix reçu par les porteurs du projet lors de l’Arkathon 2015.

«Via ce programme d’accélération, nous voulons que les projets développés lors de l’Arkathon puissent se concrétiser rapidement et profiter pleinement des fenêtres d’opportunité sur leurs marchés respectifs», relève Sébastien Mabillard, coordinateur des projets e-health pour la Fondation The Ark.

Démonstrateur présenté
Initié lors de l’Arkathon 2015, le projet Eyeware s’est cristallisé autour d’une technologie issue de l’institut de recherche Idiap à Martigny et d’une problématique rencontrée par les patients de la Clinique romande de réadaptation (CRR): faire piloter une souris d’ordinateur aux personnes n’ayant plus l’usage de leurs bras.
Suite au travail intensif des porteurs de projet Carlos Becker et Kenneth Funes durant ce week-end d’Arkathon, un démonstrateur a été présenté à la CRR. Convaincue par le résultat, cette dernière a voulu être partie prenante du projet. Un partenariat étroit de développement a été mis en œuvre afin de valider l’usage auprès des patients de la CRR.

Programme d’accélération
Le programme d’accélération mis sur pied par The Ark pour Eyeware va ainsi permettre de “booster” le projet et de lui donner un rythme soutenu afin d’atteindre ses objectifs ambitieux. Des ressources sont mobilisées et mises à disposition de manière concentrée, focalisées sur ces objectifs. Elles touchent aussi bien la technologie, le business development, le marketing que le juridique ou le médical.
«En intégrant ce programme, vous avez accès à tout un écosystème de la santé numérique. Vous allez ainsi droit au but, en interaction directe avec les bons interlocuteurs. Le time-to-market est ainsi sensiblement raccourci» fait remarquer Sébastien Mabillard.

Accès facilité aux patients
Concrètement, les porteurs de projet ont un pied-à-terre à la CRR et un accès facilité au personnel soignant et aux patients. Ils bénéficient ainsi d’expertise juridique et de propriété intellectuelle ainsi que de conseils avisés sur leur marketing et leur développement d’affaires.
Recueillir les besoins du marché, associer des compétences pouvant y répondre avec des technologies et démontrer leur faisabilité: l’Arkathon de juin dernier a permis de le faire en moins de 60 heures. Le programme d’accélération de The Ark aide maintenant à la concrétisation concrète du projet. Ce nouveau dispositif mis en place dans le domaine du e-health en Valais vivra un nouveau chapitre du 3 au 5 juin 2016, avec le prochain Arkathon. La Fondation The Ark permet, en tout temps d’accélérer votre projet en e-santé. Pensez-y!
(news in French)

Valérie DoréHH Valais 2015 Arkathon winner: Eyeware
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Project of the Month: MRI for Children


I knew of Sylvia Papazian’s MRI for Children project before our interview as I had participated in the Hacking Health Montreal Summit on Innovation Design Challenge last November. Sylvia captured the audience’s hearts with her story of coaching her 3 year old to undergo an MRI to test a tumour that he had (everything turned out fine for him, thank goodness). Young children are fearful of MRI tests as they need to lie down still for 15 minutes and enter what seems to be a dark and loud tunnel.
Sylvia pitched an idea of role-playing and story-telling as a basis for app at the design challenge. Her project was a great success, winning a prize from Anges Québec and residency at Cossette‘s Health Observatory. Here’s her story below:

Entering the competition

During a typical work day at the MUHC, I came across a competition for Health Hackathon on our internal website. I wanted to participate by joining another team. I asked a doctor in my department, “What do you think, have you heard of Hacking Health, should I join this competition?”

He responded, “We did it last year and it was great fun. We really enjoyed the process of the event – even if we didn’t continue further. I think you should do it.”

Out of nowhere, I said, “I have an idea, but I am not sure it’s valid”. He encouraged me by stating that it was a fantastic idea and that I had to present it. He coached me into the idea of having fun with the process and just living the experience without being too worried about the outcome. This is a key learning about research that I shall treasure.

I entered my name into the HH Challenge last minute – there was an hour left before the entry deadline closed.

Entering the challenge, getting started:

MRI Hero 1I went in with nothing really, just the life experience of what happened to my son. And the desire to help other people who were living the same thing, prompted by my friend Dr. Powell.

I gave my pitch that evening and waited to see if a team would pick me. By the end of the night, I did not have a team set up but Luc said that he would help set me up with a team by the next morning. He asked me to trust in the Hacking Health process. I do not trust very easily. But, he kept his promise and found designers and programmers and we started working. We didn’t win the first pitch competition that evening, but it was okay because that day was rough… our goal was just to finish our work in time to do the pitch.

I’m also competitive so I was thinking, “I let my team down. We didn’t win the prize” after the competition. One of the judges relieved my anxiety when he told me that we were just as good but that there was only the possibility of awarding one prize. It is these little encouragement milestones that keep the flame of innovation going.Besides giving me a boost, when my department found out I had made it to the finals, they were excited too. It had a ripple effect. They felt involved.

The following three weeks: from ideation to product

We had to work for 3 weeks on the project. That was crazy. It was essentially a bunch of strangers coming to work on something that is not necessarily structured. We worked out of our own goodwill. It’s really a mission out of good faith for a good cause, because it was for sick kids.It was very nice to focus on the fact that “We have a goal, we want to help kids…” Everything else is just whatever.

This kind of work is an interesting testament to humanity.
If you create a safe nonjudgmental space, it will attract possibility and allow for creativity to flow.

Transitioning from idea to product is a bit rough because you don’t know the talents of the people you are working with, you don’t know if you are going to agree with what it’s supposed to look like, what it’s supposed to do.

You are communicating all the time with people you don’t know how to negotiate or communicate with. That in itself is quite interesting. And you have to go quickly. If your team is dysfunctional, or negotiating everything; you are not going to get ahead. We talked about this all the time, “When you did this, I wish you had shown more leadership” or “We weren’t connecting, there were too many people talking at the same time!”

Showtime: the Grande Finale

Before the Hacking Health Finale, I went for coaching and mentoring from my physician friend. He reminded me, “it’s all about fun, it’s about learning.”

But that night, many things went wrong again. We forgot our demo and the PowerPoint presentation went haywire, and we had to improvise but for us, strangely enough, that wasn’t an issue. The best part of the evening was having to ad-lib with a story about a young kid that used the demo and liked the product.
Even our mistakes were reinforcing the value of our product.

We were constantly improvising and building on our strengths. There is all this work we did, but if you don’t pitch it right, if you don’t believe in it, then you won’t succeed.

We would ask ourselves, “What’s positive that we can use in this corner here because now we have a hole to fill”, and then we kept going filling that hole while then others would be created… how do we solve this now!”. We did our presentation and were very excited about it. Everyone thought we did a good job.

Design ChallengeWe won a prize from Anges Québec and we were very happy. We were just sitting back to see who would win the prize from Cossette. We thought we were out of the running because we had already won a prize.

And then they started presenting the Cossette prize. The speaker gave a beautiful speech and we were like “Wow, who is that company, they sound cool!” When they named us, we were floored. That gave us a huge sense of pride.

Cossette gives us access to office space, we can network with them and they are going to promote, coach and consult with us on marketing. Anges Quebec provided us with coaching and mentoring. Fasken Martineau gave all the winners legal advice about intellectual property.

Moving further ahead… after the Design Challenge

As a young entrepreneur, I’m steering a ship, but I don’t really have a ship yet: as I’m building it, I’m steering it. The support I have from them gives me credibility, which is huge. I consider all of these entities – Cossette, Fasken-Martineau, and Hacking Health as part of the team.

My creative team is made up of myself, a designer Juliana Alvarez, a programmer Stephan Monette, and an end-developer Tito Lim. They are the core and they give of their time generously.

I have also brought in my son Jason to the team. He has an office, that’s his seat right there. It’s his creativity corner. Our designer is going to integrate one of his drawings and we’re going put it in and give him credit for it. He’s very excited. He thinks he’s a video game developer. That’s what he wanted to be since he was little, so his dreams are coming true.

MRI Hero Dwg

I was working as an administrative agent in the hospital. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a certification in health care management, and Master’s in Humans Systems Intervention. I’d really like to see healthcare change.

When people hear my story, they connect right away with it. Either they have a child and this happened to them or they were sick as kids… They say, “I get it. I want to help. What can I do? I want to be involved for the next generation, for my community, for everyone’s health”.

I am hoping this company I am creating is about empowerment, personal development and happiness… just seeing healthcare and life in a positive way, in a supportive way. I am hoping to make a difference.

Those who listened to Sylvia’s pitch could appreciate her compelling story on the fears parents face when it comes to their children’s health. Sylvia’s story also includes the hope and creativity that parents mobilize to help their children thrive. Sylvia’s ability to acknowledge the struggles of the past to shape a better future is one of the many reasons her project is poised for success.

For more information on Sylvia’s project, join Sylph Productions Illumine Inc. on Facebook.

Interview and post by Mandeep Basi

I went in with nothing really, just the life experience of what happened to my son. And the desire to help other people who were living the same thing.

Valérie DoréProject of the Month: MRI for Children
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