Oct. 23, 2019

Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases

Five finalist teams emerging after Hacking Dermatology 2019 all share one thing in common – they are working toward the goal of solving some of the most important challenges facing patients with skin disease. Hacking Dermatology 2019 is an innovation challenge that unites clinical and scientific experts, patients, engineers and innovators to reimagine the landscape […]

Five finalist teams emerging after Hacking Dermatology 2019 all share one thing in common – they are working toward the goal of solving some of the most important challenges facing patients with skin disease.

Hacking Dermatology 2019 is an innovation challenge that unites clinical and scientific experts, patients, engineers and innovators to reimagine the landscape of patient care. With a focus this year on precision medicine, the three-day hackathon, Sept. 13-15, in Boston, engaged more than 100 participants on teams that advanced potential solutions and mentors providing expertise, guidance and feedback.

The teams that won advanced the following conceptual ideas:

  • CureSore: An at-home patient monitoring tool that uses image standardization technology to track disease progression.
  • Flare: Continuous non-invasive monitoring of skin properties (e.g. hydration, pH) to support patients in tracking their eczema to help them predict disease flares.
  • Relief: A mobile app using patient input and geolocation data to identify and predict flares based on external triggers.
  • Skin on a Chip: Embedding a patient’s skin cells on a chip to evaluate the safety and efficacy of multiple medications to determine an optimal therapy.
  • WartPatch: A painless microneedle-based immunotherapy delivery device for treating warts, especially in children.

Each finalist now moves on to the incubation stage of the Hacking Dermatology framework, which includes $5,000 in grant seed funding and greater access to dedicated mentors to advance their ideas. All the finalists will be automatically included in a final round of pitches for additional grants, $60,000 in total, in January 2020.

Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases 1 Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases 2 Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases 3 Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases 4

About the Hackathon
In early 2019, expert scientists, clinicians, researchers, and industry leaders worked together to outline critical challenges facing patients affected by skin conditions. Through crowdsourcing and the framing process, 10 challenge statements emerged to serve as challenge prompts for the three-day hackathon.

The hackathon began Friday with background talks from leaders from multiple stakeholder groups. Participants came from exceptionally diverse backgrounds, ranging from clinical dermatology to industrial design to data science to chemical engineering, and formed project teams to advance a number of innovative ideas that were presented on the final afternoon Sunday.

About Hacking Dermatology
Hacking Dermatology is led and supported by a consortium of academic, non-profit, and industry partners, including Hacking Medicine Institute (HMi), the LEO Science & Tech Hub and LEO Pharma, Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID), and MIT Hacking Medicine. Hacking Dermatology was modeled on the Hacking Medicine Institute’s extended innovation program.

There are three stages: 1) challenge statement development and identification, 2) the hackathon and 3) an incubation period with additional funding opportunities for the winning teams. The third stage includes incubation and final pitch competition. All stages are open to new participants and incorporate open science and new perspectives.

Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases 5

Thanks go to the Hacking Dermatology Steering Committee, which is made up of a working group of representatives from the founding organizations; these are Duerksen; Costa; Olga Afanasiev, MD, Dermatology Resident, Stanford Health Care, and Co-founder, HealthAI @ Stanford; Jamie Breslin, Director of Operations and Partnerships, AID; and Adam Raff, MD, PhD, Director of Translational Medicine, LEO Pharma.

About Hacking Medicine Institute + MIT Hacking Medicine
HMi is an educational 501c3 that practices and studies contemporary healthcare innovation, by working with industry and academic partners to organize hackathons and challenges and by studying the process of innovation and publishing on findings. These complimentary, parallel programs allow for the active progress of healthcare innovation through critical and evidenced based strategies. MIT Hacking Medicine is a group founded at MIT in 2011, comprising of MIT students and community members, aimed at energizing the healthcare community and accelerating medical innovation.

We accomplish this by carrying out health hackathons, design thinking workshops, and networking gatherings to teach healthcare entrepreneurship and develop digital strategies to scale medicine as a way to solve health problems worldwide. To date, the group has organized more than 150 events across 15 countries and 5 continents with over 40 companies, raising over $200M in venture funding.

About Advancing Innovation in Dermatology
Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID) is a non-profit organization committed to catalyzing the development of new solutions that can significantly improve skin health. Through multiple initiatives, activities, and actions, AID provides support, resources, and a nexus for individuals and organizations who are effecting change in dermatology by creating a next generation of innovative and impactful products.

About LEO Science & Tech Hub
The LEO Science & Tech Hub is an R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma dedicated to identifying, developing, and funding innovative solutions that improve the lives of people with skin diseases. It was founded in 2016 as a catalyst to transform early-stage innovations into solutions for improving the lives of people with skin diseases. We collaborate, explore cutting-edge ideas and make investments. We are an agile group of scientific experts with an entrepreneurial mindset and a vision of how to give patients control over disease by predicting, diagnosing and monitoring conditions. The LEO Science & Tech Hub is based in Cambridge, Mass.

About LEO Pharma
LEO Pharma is a leader in medical dermatology with a robust R&D pipeline, a wide range of therapies and a pioneering spirit. Founded in 1908 and owned by the LEO Foundation, LEO Pharma has devoted decades of research and development to advance the science of dermatology, setting new standards of care for people with skin conditions. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark with a global team of 5,500 people, serving 76 million patients in 130 countries. In 2018, the company generated net sales of DKK 10,410 million.

News from the hub

Nov. 2019 07 LEO Science & Tech Hub and Epicore Biosystems Announce Second Phase of Partnership Exploring Use of Wearable Skin Sensors to Improve Dermatologic Treatment Regimens

— Partnership with the Boston-based R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma A/S advances development of Epicore Biosystems’ wearable Discovery patch and electrochemical sensors to measure prognostic skin health, inflammation biomarkers — — Proof-of-principle study in atopic dermatitis patients seeks to track inflammatory biomarkers across different skin locations, will be conducted at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of […]

Read more
Oct. 2019 23 Hacking Dermatology 2019 Announces Five Finalists, Advancing Ideas to Help Patients Affected by Skin Diseases

Five finalist teams emerging after Hacking Dermatology 2019 all share one thing in common – they are working toward the goal of solving some of the most important challenges facing patients with skin disease. Hacking Dermatology 2019 is an innovation challenge that unites clinical and scientific experts, patients, engineers and innovators to reimagine the landscape […]

Read more