Med Students Participate in Healthcare Hackathon

First-year medical student William Doemland (second from left) with his winning team at the Yale Healthcare Hackathon last weekend. (Photo courtesy Sarah Mattessich)
First-year medical student John Sullivan (far right) and third-year medical student Sarah Mattessich (second from right) with their team at the Yale Healthcare Hackathon last weekend. (Photo courtesy Sarah Mattessich)

Three UConn medical students competed in the 2018 Yale Healthcare Hackathon this weekend. The event brought together people from the medical, engineering, business and computer programming fields to address health care challenges in 24 hours. This year’s theme was “artificial intelligence enabling medicine.”

The event was three days long and started with participants pitching healthcare problems that they wanted to solve using artificial intelligence. The remaining participants then gravitated towards projects that were most interesting to them, which led to team formations of all sizes. Teams had 24 hours to complete their design. At the end, each team gave a three minute pitch about their product, and teams were judged on clinical impact, prototype design, business model, and presentation.

Sarah Mattessich (MS3) and John Sullivan (MS1) were part of a nine person team that developed a smartphone interface and program for ultrasound training that harnesses artificial neural networks (machine learning) for pattern recognition in its design. The software is intended to be an add-on application catered for up-and-coming, smartphone-compatible, handheld ultrasound devices. These handheld ultrasounds are projected to ultimately “replace the stethoscope.” 

William Doemland (MS1) was part of a nine person team that developed a portable, handheld retinal scanner that can record all of a patient’s vital signs in 5 seconds for home or clinic use. Will’s team was presented with a $1000 award from Roivant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical drug-development company.