Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Two hundred professionals and students from the health care, tech and business world are coming together to dream up, design and build innovative tech solutions to pressing health care challenges.
The fourth annual Hacking Health Windsor Detroit is being hosted at St. Clair College next weekend – April 13 & 14th.
“Hacking Health has sparked or accelerated a number of healthcare start-up companies in our region,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, which co-organizes the event with cross-border partners TechTown Detroit.
Pilon points to the success of fertility start-up OnTrachIVF and PRN Care – a location-based app that connects certified individual home care providers together with families seeking care for elderly family members.
Previous local winners included a stent tracker app developed by a nurse from Windsor Regional Hospital and an app called Clinic Seeker that directs patients to the nearest clinic.
Hacking Health brings together over 30 partner organizations – including nurses, doctors and administrators from top hospitals such as Henry Ford Health System and Windsor Regional Hospital, top post-secondary institutions such as Wayne State University, University of Michigan, St. Clair College and University of Windsor, investors and economic development organizations — in addition to a variety of private sector and growth stage companies.
“If you’re frontline staff, a professional or a student or just someone with a great idea, we want you at Hacking Health,” says Pilon.
St. Clair College is this year’s Platinum Sponsor and Host – as the venue alternates between Canada and the US every year.
“We think this is an excellent platform to showcase the incredible students and faculty pushing innovation in tech and health at St. Clair College,” says Jim Marsh, the Chair of the School of Business and Information Technology. “It’s also a great opportunity for them to connect with industry.”
This year Hacking Health released six Challenge Statements sponsored by Green Shield Canada and Aphria – focusing on Health & Wellness, Mental Health and Medical Cannabis.
“Students and start-up companies have an opportunity to pitch their ideas and skills in front of the Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer and the Director of the Medical Division of exciting billion dollar companies like Green Shield Canada and Aphria,” says Kusmierczyk. “There is no better way to interview for a coop placement or career than Hacking Health.”
A classic example is Alex Gervais – a former Web Development student at St. Clair College who landed his dream job as a UX Developer at the University of Michigan while at Hacking Health – helping to develop a medhealth startup called OnTrackIVF.
Kusmierczyk describes Hacking Health as a sandbox for creative and collaborative people, companies and organizations who want to collaborate on improving the healthcare system from the ground up.
He points to the fact that Hacking Health sparked the creation of the annual cross-border MedHealth Summit that takes place a week a week later in Detroit on April 19th.
The MedHealth Summit has quickly become the pre-eminent regional medical device and digital health conference that draws top hospitals, universities, colleges, companies and investors.
Together, Hacking Health and the MedHealth Summit make up the cross-border MedHealth Innovation Week.
“Hacking Health and the MedHealth Summit have been connecting the most creative and collaborative minds across the border and tying our region together for a few years now,” says Kusmierczyk. “It’s a solid foundation for cross-border initiatives like the Amazon bid and others that will surely follow.”
Participants can still register at HHWinDetIV.eventbrite.ca. Spots are filling up quickly.
There are $30,000 worth of prizes to the top ideas.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE:
1. Form your own team, post your project at hhwindet2018.sparkboard.com and pitch your idea on Friday night.
2. Listen to the pitches on Friday night and then join an existing team that is looking for help on their project.
3. There’s no pressure to pitch, join a team or create your own. You can simply attend as an observer, enjoy some delicious food and make some great new connections.
Irek Kusmierczyk, PhD
Director of Partnerships