Hacking Health Vancouver announces winning solutions

VANCOUVER – At a high-energy contest in early June, 10 teams vied to create award-winning apps at Canada’s latest Hacking Health event (

Nearly 100 clinicians, I.T. specialists and advisors laboured furiously to solve problems and produce apps to help patients and care-givers in real-world settings.

The event capped eight weeks of design work – the teams put final touches on their projects in Vancouver, as part of eHealth 2016, and presented the apps to their peers and a panel of judges. (Hacking Health Vancouver was co-sponsored by eHealth 2016, Desjardins insurance and Gevity, a healthcare and social services consulting firm.) While all of the projects had worthy components, the judges recognized five teams as creating top-tier solutions.

The winners were:

Docto – Patients Award & IBM Award
Welcome to a new era of Predictive Analytics. We are developing an app for Type I diabetic patients to better manage and monitor glucose levels. The application itself is a learning module that uses medical guidelines. The app mimics exactly what an endocrinologist does, and by feeding it with real-time glucose data from user’s Continuous Glucose Monitor devices (CGM), we are able to predict Hyper and Hypo crashes with an accuracy rate of over 90%. We are working with endocrinologists at St Paul’s and UBC hospital to pilot the project.

Re+Boost – Hospital and Clinicians Award & iUGO Health Award
Up to 65% of patients don’t fully adhere to their prescribed physio treatment. Dismal compliance results in slow recovery and affects quality of life. As a solution, a smart-strap produced by Re+Boost counts the exercises performed by patients, and integrates with a log-book that includes pictures and various wearables data. All data and exercises are synced to iCalendar or Android Calendar to take into account time left before the next appointment and recovery goals. It also includes VR that promotes health and the best way of recovery using safe exercises chosen by the physio and the patient.

CareCrew – People’s Choice Award
CareCrew is a web-based mobile app developed for families to help support seniors aging at home. The app connects families and friends, healthcare professionals, home support providers, etc., to provide collaborative, personalized care leading to a better quality of life for seniors.

Care at home is usually supported by a group of formal and informal care providers – family, live-in care provider, visiting nurses, family doctor, specialists, adult day program coordinators, community volunteers etc. Each one has valuable information about the person ranging from medical conditions to personal preferences to ways to cope with challenging behaviours. But most of this information is not recorded or shared making quality personalized care very difficult. CareCrew helps connect these care-givers. To learn more, access

CalMed – Desjardins Award
CalMed is a mental health app with artificial intelligence. Mental health is a rising concern in all age groups. Seeking and providing assistance is completely dependent on the person reaching out to a therapist. However it is still not possible to avert disaster in the form of suicide or nervous breakdown, and sporadic destructive behaviour like random public shootouts. Help is needed to not only treat mental illness, but to prevent it right from the start. Medications and intermittent personal counselling and therapy are not enough.

CalMed reads and monitors your activity on your smartphone. With a built-in artificial intelligence, it understands your state of mind by analyzing your messages, social media posts, tweets, browsing history, and provides assistance in the form of motivational messages or if necessary, connecting you to your therapist or anyone who is your confidante, like a friend or a family member, to not only help you cope with small day-to-day mental upheavals, but also to prevent you from taking drastic extreme steps. This will not only reduce the need for medications but also assist you when you need it the most.

Emit (Education for Medication in Transplant) – Gevity Award
Improper medication use and poor compliance in transplant recipients leads to risk of organ rejection, hospitalizations, cost to the healthcare system and increased risk of death. Medication counseling is one of the many ways pharmacists provide care for patients in the community and hospital. By highlighting key information about how to take the medications and side effects to watch out for, medication errors can be prevented and patients can be empowered to take charge of their health. Despite our best efforts, many patients have difficulty retaining verbal or written information. Visual aids have been shown to improve recall and comprehension especially in patients with low health literacy, such as those with language barriers, socioeconomic challenges and the elderly.
EMIT is an app that helps patients track their medications, log symptoms and review medication information supported by visuals. Healthcare providers can bring up the info on a website during a counselling session. The ultimate goal is to create a library of drug monographs with graphics to accompany key medication counseling points. Existing apps such as PillTalk and Drug Counselling provide text information without images, and some limitations include insufficient detail and medical jargon which makes it less suitable for patient use.

Hacking Health is a global movement active in over 40 cities across five continents. Hacking Health chapters are autonomous and organize regular cafés, meetups, clinics, workshops and health hackathons in partnership with local digital health stakeholders.

Hacking Health aims to transform healthcare by connecting healthcare professionals with designers, developers, innovators and entrepreneurs to build realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line healthcare problems. For more information, see

Written by Editor

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