Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 25, 2013

MedHelp's Hackathon Winners Create Innovative Solutions for Weight Loss, Food Allergies and More

Often times the most innovative solutions are found by accessing the talent of someone outside the field being researched. Exposing a problem to a new set of eyes may reveal solutions previously not seen by those who have let the problem overwhelm any possible solution. While the solution may not provide a direct answer, it can provide new ways to attack a problem previously not thought off by researchers in the particular field. The MedHelp Hacking Health hackathon is an all-out attempt to use technology to solve health related issues. The event was held from February 8-10, and it has resulted in some innovative solutions.

The Hacking Health hackathon was held at MedHelp’s headquarters in San Francisco where developers and designers used the company’s health data platform to find new and innovative ways to address health related problems. The participants also had access to FoodEssentials’ API to help them develop their submission during the two-day event.

MedHelp is a storehouse of information for more than 300 medical conditions connecting doctors and patients across the country. The site has partnerships with seven of the top 10 hospitals in the U.S. and uses 50 online health tools and award-winning mobile apps to make the destination an accessible point for medical professionals and consumers. Its API has more than 100 million medical data points which gives developers a data framework for adding value for a health based information platform.

FoodEssentials uses the best available technology to find solutions related to food label data for the consumer, government, manufacturer and retailer. The company’s LablelAPI provides developers with a powerful product label database so they can create solutions for better information dissemination.

The participating teams were judged on innovation, impact, user experience and how they used the available technology.

 “The MedHelp ‘Hacking Health’ Hackathon was a great way to celebrate the launch of MedHelp’s health API in addition to promoting innovation that intersects health and technology. We challenged the developers to create a completely new and exciting custom health experience by using MedHelp’s platform and our database of more than 100 million data points. And the result was fabulous—every team that presented had an amazing idea that, if pursued, could gain traction in the marketplace and truly help people lead healthier lives,” said Khaled Hassounah, CTO at MedHelp.

In first place was Team Spontaneity with their app named Rhino for mobile Web. It is designed to help make the nutritional information label of a product relevant to each individual by personalizing it to meet body type and weight loss goals. The team members are Jeremia Kimelman, Benjamin Kimelman and Marco Segreto.

The second place team was the Food Guardians with their Food Guard app for Android and iPhone. The app makes it possible to scan the barcode on a product and looks for ingredients that might contain allergens the user cannot consume. The team members are Amit Aggarwal, Judy He, Charles Finkel and Daisuke Fujiwara.

The third place team was the Futuresizers with an app called It is a Web app that lets the user take a picture and creates future image based on how much calories the individual consumes. The team members are Emily Desanctis, Ro-el Cordero, Edward Wang and Srihari Yamanoor.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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