Hacking Rural Healthcare
Rural areas encounter complex healthcare challenges, leading to disparities in access, quality, and affordability. In low- and middle-income countries, especially in resource-constrained and rural regions, there is a significant imbalance of unmet needs compared to high-income countries or urban settings. The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery found that nearly 93% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population and 97% of South Asia’s population lack sufficient and safe surgical care. Rural communities bear the greatest burden when it comes to accessing comprehensive healthcare due to limited infrastructure, shortage of medical professionals, inefficient health data management, inadequate funding systems for surgical services, and scarce resources. These barriers result in limited or no access to timely interventions, leading to adverse health outcomes for individuals especially in rural areas. Innovative solutions are needed to bridge the rural healthcare gap and ensure equitable access for all, regardless of geographic location or socioeconomic status.
Technology has the potential to revolutionise rural healthcare by overcoming these barriers and transforming the way healthcare services are delivered. By leveraging innovative solutions, one can enhance accessibility, improve diagnostics, enable telemedicine, streamline healthcare logistics, and empower healthcare providers in rural areas. From telehealth platforms to medical Internet of Things (IoT) devices, artificial intelligence to data analytics, embracing technology can offer unprecedented opportunities to bridge the gap in rural healthcare and address the unmet needs that persist in these communities and beyond. Technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enable effective planning and resource allocation in healthcare. Virtual Reality (VR) and E-learning platforms can enhance medical education and training, while simulations can provide realistic and immersive learning experiences. Telemedicine and mobile health apps (m-Health) can bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients, potentially enabling remote consultations and monitoring. Computer Aided Design (CAD) software can facilitate health facility design, while renewable energy technologies can promote sustainable healthcare infrastructure and reduce carbon footprint. Cloud-based Health Information Systems can ensure efficient data management, while data encryption technologies safeguard patient privacy. The use of innovative blockchain technology can ensure transparent financing, while AI can enable cost-effectiveness analysis.
Hackathons foster interdisciplinary collaborations and innovation, bringing together experts from diverse fields such as health workforce planning, human resources, medical education, hospital administration, surgery, public health, health informatics, and health economics to tackle complex problems. In healthcare, they offer immense potential for addressing pressing issues that require a convergence of such diverse expertise and concepts. By encouraging participants to think beyond their specialisations, hackathons foster creativity, promote cross-pollination of ideas, learnings and integrate diverse perspectives. This iterative process yields prototypes, proof-of-concepts and tangible solutions that can be refined over time. The range of output possibilities is vast, for example, enhancing access to healthcare services, enabling individuals in rural communities to receive timely medical advice and assistance without the need for extensive travel, developing platforms that can provide diagnostic capabilities, virtually monitoring functions, and even assisting in the delivery of treatments. These can improve healthcare efficiency, decision-making processes, and resource utilisation, particularly in resource-constrained rural areas.
By participating in TechSurg and addressing challenges in rural workforce, training, service delivery, infrastructure, data management, and financing, participants have the opportunity to create meaningful impact and ensure equitable access to quality healthcare. It will enable you to bring positive changes to the lives of individuals in underserved communities, ensuring that everyone has access to quality healthcare without being left behind.
|Theme||Problem Type||Healthcare Specialisation/Experience||Technologies|
|Workforce||Inadequate number and distribution of healthcare workers||Health Workforce Planning, Human Resources||Geographic Information Systems, Artificial Intelligence for planning|
|Training||Standardised Training, Lack of Mentorship, Ineffective skill training, Effective remote training||Medical Education, Telemedicine|
Virtual Reality, E-learning Platforms
|Service Delivery||Limited access to surgical services in remote areas||Public Health, Surgery, Telemedicine||Telemedicine, Mobile Health Apps|
|Infrastructure||Lack of proper surgical facilities||Hospital Administration, Surgery||CAD Software for facility design, Renewable energy technologies|
|Information System & Data||Inefficient health data management||Health Informatics, Data Science||Cloud-based Health Information Systems, Data Encryption Technologies|
|Finance & Economics||Limited funding for surgical services||Health Economics, Public Health||Blockchain for transparent financing, AI for cost-effectiveness analysis|
- Olson K, Walsh M, Garg P, et al. Health hackathons: theatre or substance? A survey assessment of outcomes from healthcare-focused hackathons in three countries. BMJ Innov. 2017;3(1):37–44.
- Silver J, Binder D, Zubcevik N, Zafonte R. Healthcare hackathons provide educational and innovation opportunities: a case study and best practice recommendations. J Med Syst. 2016;40(7):177.
- Mitra S, Ashby J, Muhumuza A, Ndayishimiye I, Wasserman I, Santhirapala V, Peters AW, Vervoort D, Jacob O, Gnanaraj J, Ganesh P, Afshar S. Surgathon: a new model for creating a surgical innovation ecosystem in low-resource settings. BMJ Glob Health. 2020 Feb 16;5(2):e002162. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-002162. PMID: 32133197; PMCID: PMC7042596.
- Bolton W, Ng S, Lam A, et al. Virtual hackathon to tackle COVID-19 unmet needs. BMJ Innov. 2021;1(7):2.
- Guo Y, Hao Z, Zhao S, Gong J, Yang F. Artificial intelligence in health care: bibliometric analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2020;22(7):e18228.
- Meara JG, Leather AJM, Hagander L, Alkire BC, Alonso N, Ameh EA, et al. Global Surgery 2030: Evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development. Lancet. 2015;386(9993):569–624.
Flow of Hackathon:
- Registration to MedTechX 2023 is must for each member of participating team in Hackathon.
- Read through a brief intro to problem statement. You are encouraged to read from various sources about unmet needs in Global surgery
- A detailed discussion will be held on the problem statement and role of Technology on 5th August. Please make it convenient to attend whole day’s program
- Teams have to be registered by August 8th 2023, along with a brief summary of idea the team will be working on
- Each team has to ideally have 2-5 members. Each Team must have members from more than 2 disciplines, with atleast 1 member from medical and engineering disciplines each.
- A opportunity will be given on 5th August to present a 3 min pitch of your idea and call for interested members for your team. Also a resource list of people with different skill set will be made available, whom you may contact and invite in your team.
- In case you are interested but do not have a clear idea at present, you may contact any of the team to be part of them.
- A team of mentors, with expertise in different areas will be available to guide teams in their journey of Hackathon.
- The idea along with proof of concept has to be submitted by Sep 5th 2023.
- After initial round of screening, selected teams will be invited for presenting their idea in front of final Jury.
- Aug 5th 2023: Event starts, Deep discussion on Problem Statement and possible Solutions
- Aug 8th 2023: Last Date to Register teams
- Sep 5th 20230: Submission of Proposals/entries
- Sep 30th 2023: Declaration of Shortlisted Entries
- October 2023: Final Presentation
FAQS FOR HACKATHON
A brief introduction to the problem statement is provided above. We strongly encourage you to conduct research from various sources about unmet needs in Global surgery to gain a better understanding of the problem. This knowledge will be valuable during the detailed discussion on the problem statement and the role of technology, scheduled for 5th August 2023. We highly recommend attending the entire day’s program for maximum engagement.
Teams must be registered by August 8th, 2023. Along with the registration, please provide a brief summary of the idea your team intends to work on. This summary will help us understand your project better and assist in the planning process.
MedTechX is open to all undergraduate and graduate students from any university or college. All skill levels, from beginners to experienced healthcare professionals, engineers, are welcome to join. Each member of the participating team must be registered for MedTechX 2023 to be eligible for the Hackathon. Participants, however, must provide their own computers and are responsible for their own Internet access to join the on-line sessions and resources.
MedTechX will be held at Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi. It will be the central location for all activities, including hacking and presentations. Detailed directions to the venue will be provided closer to the event date.
MedTechX 2023 will be an in-person event, providing a collaborative and immersive experience. Being physically present promotes creativity, teamwork, and networking opportunities.
MedTechX brings together students from various universities and colleges. You will collaborate with fellow coders, designers, and tech enthusiasts. Industry professionals, mentors, and sponsors will also be present to support and engage with participants.
The judging panel consists of esteemed professionals and experts from the industry. They will evaluate projects based on criteria such as creativity, technical implementation, innovation, and potential impact.
Clear rules, guidelines, and expectations will be provided to all participants before the Hackathon. These will cover aspects such as intellectual property rights, team collaboration, ethical considerations, code of conduct, and any other specific rules that participants need to follow.
Each team should ideally have 2-5 members. It is essential to have members from more than two disciplines, with at least one member from the medical and engineering disciplines. This multidisciplinary approach fosters diverse perspectives and enhances the potential for innovative solutions. This platform allows you to call for interested members to join your team. Additionally, a resource list of individuals with different skill sets will be made available, enabling you to contact and invite them to join your team.
Yes, on 5th August 2023, participants will have an opportunity to present a 3-minute pitch of their ideas.
If you are interested in participating but do not have a clear idea at present, you may contact any of the existing teams to join their project. Collaboration and teamwork are encouraged during the Hackathon.
Yes, a team of mentors with expertise in different areas will be available to guide and support teams throughout their Hackathon journey. They will provide valuable insights, advice, and assistance as you develop your ideas and work on your proof of concept.
The final idea, along with a proof of concept, must be submitted by September 5th, 2023. Please ensure that you allocate sufficient time to refine and articulate your concept effectively within the given timeline.
A team can only submit one idea.
Selected teams will be invited to present their ideas in front of the final jury. The jury will evaluate the projects based on specific criteria, such as creativity, technical implementation, innovation, and potential impact.
We will provide meals and snacks throughout the event to keep you energised.
Details regarding parking passes, including pickup locations and timings, will be communicated before the event. Stay tuned for further updates.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide travel reimbursements at this time. We encourage you to explore funding options through your university or student organisations for travel expenses.
No, we do not provide direct accommodation support, we may offer suggestions or recommendations for accommodation options and inform participants.
Participants will have access to a range of resources and facilities, including technology platforms, software tools, hardware equipment, mentorship support, and other relevant resources to aid in the development of their ideas.
The judging criteria will be based on factors such as creativity, technical implementation, innovation, potential impact, and overall presentation. Specific details will be provided closer to the event.
The winner to get mentoring from Global experts, collaboration with top medical and engineering institutions and a whopping Seed money of upto Rs 10,00,000 from IHFC (TIH of IIT Delhi)! AND MANY MORE
Yes, there will be dedicated networking sessions and social events where participants can interact with industry experts, potential collaborators, and sponsors. These opportunities foster meaningful connections and collaborations.
If you have any further questions or need clarification about MedTechX, please reach out to our organising team. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more information.
Welcome to the ‘Hackathon Buddies’ Team Formation!
Congratulations on taking the first step towards an exciting and collaborative hackathon experience! This platform is designed to help you find like-minded individuals with diverse skill sets to form your dream team for the upcoming hackathon. Together, you’ll embark on an innovative journey, tackle challenges, and build incredible projects that could leave a lasting impact.
We have a plethora of talented participants with a wide range of skills and interests waiting to connect with you. One valuable tip is that those who start early will have more options to choose from and build a stronger team. So, don’t hesitate to begin your search and reach out to potential teammates right away!
Below, you’ll find a list of different skill sets and interests that participants have shared. We encourage you to explore the links corresponding to your areas of expertise and reach out to potential team members who align with your vision for the hackathon project. Remember, a well-balanced team with a mix of skills is often the key to success!
Please be respectful and considerate when connecting with potential teammates. Introduce yourself, highlight your skills, and discuss your project ideas to see how well you complement each other’s strengths. Collaboration, open communication, and a positive attitude are vital for a productive team.
List of Potential Team Members (categorized based on Skill Sets) Links:
- Medical Subjects
- Surgical Subjects
- Public Health/Global Surgery/Rural Surgery
- Social Media
- Data Sciences, AI, Machine Learning
- Product Development/Branding/Marketing
- Engineering Subjects (Computers, IT, Electronics)
- Engineering Subjects (Mechanical, Design)
- Economics/Health Economics/Finances
Remember to check back frequently, as new participants may join and update their interests. Feel free to reach out to multiple potential teammates and consider forming diverse teams that bring together various perspectives.
If you already have some members of your team together, you can populate and find the current list of provisional teams here : Hackathon provisional teams
However, keep in mind that on the 5th of August event, you will have more opportunities to network, and make your teams even more diverse.
Here’s a tip: Why settle for five team members when you can have an Artificial Intelligence 6th member like ChatGPT or another language learning model? Feel free to leverage AI!
All those with present teams/ideas will be given 3 min time to make a micro-pitch, where they can ask for resources/skills they need in their team.
We wish you all the best in forming your ‘Hackathon Buddies’ dream team and creating something extraordinary together!
Collaborate. Diversify. Evolve.