Hacking Dermatology Selects 5 Finalist Teams for Incubation
Hacking Dermatology is an initiative that aims to bring interdisciplinary teams together to solve the important challenges facing patients with skin disease. It is led and supported by a consortium of academic, non-profit, and industry partners, including Hacking Medicine Institute (HMi), LEO Pharma, Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID), MIT Hacking Medicine, and the Lahey Medical […]
Hacking Dermatology is an initiative that aims to bring interdisciplinary teams together to solve the important challenges facing patients with skin disease. It is led and supported by a consortium of academic, non-profit, and industry partners, including Hacking Medicine Institute (HMi), LEO Pharma, Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID), MIT Hacking Medicine, and the Lahey Medical Center Department of Dermatology. This first Hacking Dermatology program focuses on the challenges patients with inflammatory skin diseases face, and the process for problem identification and solution creation includes multiple events designed around HMi’s healthcare innovation framework.
Hacking Medicine Institute Healthcare Innovation Framework
Advancing the Framework: Framing + Hacking
Frame: On April 7th, 2018 a group of about thirty expert scientists, clinicians, researchers, and industry leaders came together to discuss critical challenges facing patients with inflammatory skin disease. Thought leaders presented professional opinions on the largest pain points in the field, and through a crowd sourcing exercise, the entire group developed 5 top challenges. These statements were fed into the June 2018 hackathon as challenge prompts.
Hack: On June 8-10, around 120 people came together to “hack dermatology”. The three-day weekend hackathon started on Friday and included background talks from leaders from multiple stakeholder groups. The kickoff as one participant put it, “Excellent! One of the best hackathons I’ve been to. The Friday evening program was also a great way to get the entrepreneurial spirit going, and I was so impressed by how well supported the event was by mentors and industry leaders.” The participants came from exceptionally diverse backgrounds, ranging from clinical dermatology to industrial design to data science to chemical engineering, and formed teams to work on ideas ranging from portable devices that measure environmental factors that can trigger inflammatory skin conditions to smart clothing for treating them.
The weekend was infused with enthusiasm and dedication. Hacking Dermatology mentor and judge Adam Raff, MD, PhD, who is a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and a member of AID, said, “Hacking Dermatology was filled with incredible energy and excitement from the participants. To see patients, scientists, engineers, and physicians joining forces to solve the most critical problems in dermatology was inspiring. The innovations that blossomed over the weekend offer real hope to improve the lives of patients and I cannot wait to see how the teams and their ideas evolve over the next few months.”
Arash Mostaghimi, MD, MPA, MPH from Brigham & Women’s Hospital and a member of one of the finalist teams, said, “It was great to connect with a community of data scientists, materials engineers, and other clinicians to develop creative solution for pain points in dermatology.”
At the end of the weekend, 5 teams were selected by a panel of judges to be finalists. These teams – Eir, HyJamas, Lucid, Matchlab, and PatchMe.
Eir is a voice enabled AI assistant for patients with chronic dermatological challenges. Eir makes it simple and easy for patients to track their medical conditions and help supercharge consultations by creating digestible summaries for patients to share with their dermatologist, resulting in happier patients and fewer doctor visits.
HyJamas™ is simple to use and comfortable sleepwear for eczema patients and people suffering from skin dryness. At the core of HyJamas is a proprietary moisturizing fabric technology, which prevents itch flare ups and promises a good night’s sleep.
Lucid is a first-in class personalized and automated home patch testing solution. We replace the months of wait time and multiple in-office visits of traditional patch testing by sending patients personalized patch kits based on their health history, occupational exposures, and a digital assessment of their personal health products. Patch test results are instantly interpreted at home using computer vision technology and translated into easy-to-follow product recommendations that improve patient adherence and long-term health.
Matchlab provides cosmeceutical companies with key insights on product performance across various target populations. We provide an application for consumers to try new test products and a dashboard for cosmeceutical companies to receive real-time feedback on product performances.
PatchMe: Augmented reality experience for pediatric eczema patients.
Next Steps: Each of the finalist teams move on to the Incubation stage of the Hacking Dermatology framework, which includes $5k in grant funding and access to dedicated mentors to advance their proposals and ideas. All the finalists will be automatically included in the next round of pitches for additional grants ($50k in total). The date for this pitch competition will be in early October 2018. Because the judges had a very hard time narrowing the winners down to just 5 finalists, all the teams were encouraged to continue to working on their respective projects, because they too will have the opportunity to apply to the pitch competition in October.
Finalist Team Photos