By Anya Kravets, Group Manager, Digital Health
2014 and 2015 have been huge years for digital health. According to Rock Health, a start-up seed fund, 2014 proved to be a record year of funding in the U.S. with over $4 billion, more than doubling funding in 2013. Further, in the first quarter of 2015, digital health experienced an 80% year-over-year growth, and Canada is following the suit with its robust digital health industry.
Building new solutions to improve and change the healthcare system is more important than ever, and collaboration among various sectors bringing passionate and talented individuals plays a central role. Similarly to any other industry, as more diverse people develop more diverse ideas, then we will see more diverse solutions.
As a proud supporter and sponsor of the Hacking Health movement and a past event, GCI Group was thrilled to take part in this year’s hackathon—an eight-week Hacking Health Design Challenge that ran from May to June. The hackathon culminated with a demo finale at the 2015 e-Health: Making Connections conference in Toronto.
Over eight weeks of intense work, the participants (healthcare professionals, designers and developers) got a chance to be inspired by digital health veterans at #HHDesign Café Series, including the following speakers:
- Julielynn Wong, Harvard-educated public health physician, innovator, educator, pioneer in 3D printing of medical devices in austere environments and founder of 3D4MD
- Adrian Schauer, CEO of AlayaCare, thatdevelops complete software suites for homecare agencies
- Josina Vink, a facilitator, systems designer and strategist who works on disruptive innovations in the field of health and community development
- Joe Cafazzo, lead for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and Senior Director of UHN Healthcare Human Factors
From mental health, education around healthy food choices to address obesity among teens, to brain fitness, the solutions presented by over 25 teams aimed to address real-life, front-line healthcare problems and bring together technology creators with healthcare professionals.
GCI extends congratulations to everyone who participated in the Hacking Health Design Challenge, including the event finalists and the following award-winning projects:
- Zuubly – a smartwatch app to help people recover from depression and connect them with a care circle
- Art on the Brain – a mobile health solution for older adults with cognitive decline using the arts as a vehicle for engagement, created in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario
- CareKit – a mobile health app designed to facilitate communication between care team members, patients and families
- Rehab+ – a smart watch app, companion mobile app, and corresponding web portal for clinicians to help people get back to life following a cardiac event
- Trigger – a prosthetic memory app, enabling people with memory impairment to relive past moments in context
- Life Node – an advanced messaging and analysis platform developed by Disrupt.TO to enable SMS-to-browser communication, track client/facilitator communications and provide real-time analysis to determine message sentiment and patient risk
For more information, visit hackinghealthdesignchallenge.com. For live Twitter coverage updates from the Hacking Health Design Challenge Café Series and the final event, check out @GCIGROUP on Twitter or search for #HHDesign.