Hacking Medicine: Pain Points to Pilot

March 10, 2014

9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Conference Room 301

61% of Americans agree that healthcare is broken. But how do we leverage SXSW attendees’ energy & enthusiasm to fix the myriad of problems? Physicians’ valuable time is plagued by inefficiencies, archaic methods (faxes & pagers), & non-clinical administrative tasks. Without an understanding of the pain points, it's hard for even the most intrepid entrepreneur to launch a pilot at a hospital or medical center. There is a better way. How can we short circuit the ideation phase to get proof of concept ASAP?

Fear not! At this four hour long workshop, MIT’s H@cking Medicine will play matchmaker. This workshop will bring together inventive, forward-thinking minds to change the status quo and create disruptive solutions in healthcare today. We’ll bring down doctors from Boston, MA to work with hackers in order to get ideas into practice. Physicians and other interested workshop attendees will divulge their specific pain points. Hackers will then be coached by the physician & workshop facilitators from H@cking Medicine on how to take those pain points & develop quick solutions to pilot by workshop’s end. Presto! Magic happens when you put a verified problem & an innovative solution in bed with the intelligence & creativity that is SXSW.

The event will proceed as follows: Hour 1: Introduction by Hacking Medicine and 60-second “pitches” by attendees surrounding problems impacting healthcare Hour 2- 3.5: Team matchmaking, coaching, idea generation, and preliminary hacking Hour 3.5 - 4: Team recap presentations with plan for path forward

The event provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with experts in a variety of fields and novices with infectious passion, pitch an idea for transforming a current health care process and then, together, begin the process of devising a real solution. These solutions could be as straightforward as a wireframe sketch, or might require running to a local store for parts to build a prototype, or reaching out to a physician to ask a pressing question for a mobile app.

Whatever the process may be, the ultimate result could be the beginning of the next big healthcare transformation. End the workshop with a potential team, new connections, and a hack on its first steps towards disrupting healthcare. As a participant in this hackathon, you will:

  1. Learn how to pitch a pain point specific to healthcare.
  2. Become part of an ecosystem that is diverse yet enthusiastic about changing healthcare.
  3. Develop a novel hack for a disruptive solution in healthcare.


  • No prerequisites.

What to Bring:

  • Please bring your laptop.
  • In addition, please try to come with specific “painpoints” or problems from healthcare or medicine that you have either observed, experienced, or heard. At the beginning of the session, people will “pitch” these painpoints or problems for 60 seconds to help ignite this workshop.
  • While these pre-meditated painpoints or pitches are not required, they will help aid in the success of the workshop! So, think about what annoys you, your doctor, your family, or your friends in medicine!
Faculty Dir MIT Healthcare Ventures & H@ckingMedicine
MIT Hacking Medicine
MIT Hacking Medicine
PhD Candidate, Dept of Mechanical Engineering
Health and Business