This past weekend, Stanford hosted its Health++ hackathon. Organized for the second time by a student volunteer group called SHIFT, the healthcare hackathon welcomed nearly 200 people from a myriad of backgrounds, varying from med school to bioengineering and data science.


The teams flew in from all over the world, including Japan, China and India. BetterDoctor participated as an API sponsor and spoke about how to innovate with healthcare data. Forty teams designed solutions that make access to care easier, whether the patient is a malnutritioned child in India (Nutrilink), an american who is uninformed of available Medicaid services (MediBot) or a person suffering from cataract, the leading cause for blindness in the world (Cataspot).

Many of the solutions had the need to find doctors or refer a specialist that would meet the patient’s needs. BetterDoctor enabled the teams to pull the needed pieces of provider and practice data by using the API.

Team explaining

The Best Use of BetterDoctor API was awarded to a team called Doctors in Touch, who in addition to building a patient-centered referral tool for providers, leveraged our API to pull in specialty data. Their concept also included the will to integrate that with claims and procedure data to get more granular data on specialties. As much as Health++ is a hackathon, many of the solutions included hardware as well.

The Japanese team Your Pacifier impressed the audience by building a smart pacifier, that is able to detect humidity from the baby’s lips. The purpose of this was to prevent dehydration, alert the parents through a mobile app and help the parents to understand if the child should be hospitalized (or, on the other hand if there’s no need to panic just yet).

Your pacifier

Another interesting application was Mobile EMT that offered an all inclusive solution for EMTs to improve doctor’s access to the patient’s vitals in real-time and provide assistance remotely. Their solution equipped EMTs with a kit and a mobile app, that included a wireless headset for the patient that can record both EEG and ECG.

The team leverages BetterDoctor API to connect EMTs with the providers available anywhere in the world. As the team pitched it, in case of a seizure, they would immediately get a list of neurologists that would be able to help EMTs remotely.

Another idea that stood out over the two days, was the consumerization of healthcare and the need of infrastructure to enable innovation, which was also the topic our CEO Ari Tulla spoke about during the first day. As Lloyd B. Minor, Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine, mentioned, the technology such as APIs and big data that already exist are ready to be leveraged in healthcare and such hackathons are vital in finding out the most relevant use cases and let people learn from each other.

Overall the intensive weekend presented innovations that could significantly change healthcare by improving affordability and cost effectiveness, which were the major themes for this hackathon. The Grand Prizes of the Stanford hackathon went to 1st MediBot, 2nd NutriLink and 3rd Your Pacifier.

Congratulations to the teams! All the submissions can be reviewed here.