Health & Welless Innovation 2012 (MIT Media Lab)

The New Media Medicine research group at the MIT Media Lab hosts an annual two week hackathon to prototype technology that empowers patients to take control of their health.

The event has students, health professionals, and innovators from industry assigned to six different project groups. Our group was tasked with developing an app that would be used by a patient post-op in order to help them understand their regimen of pharmaceuticals and procedures they need to comply with in order to insure a good recovery. As this project came out of the Innovation Acceleration Program at Children's Hospital in Boston the app needed to take on a game-like quality.

  • the app concept was designed to be usable by the patients and their parents
  • the app contains an animated avatar that interacts in a friendly way
  • the app concept enables the patient to earn points as they comply with their routine. Points can be later spent on improving their avatar.
  • the concept was to make an app that could be deployed on a patient's own device or on a tablet provided by the hospital
  • some smart logic would be included to determine if any unexpected symptoms were severe enough to warrant contact with the physicia
  • for certain cases the app could be deployed on a remote virtual presence device such as the V-Go robot already in use at Children's
  • the development was done using Adobe Flex and the open source CollaboRhythm environment from the Media Lab
  • all relevant code developed for this app was added in to the open source repository
  • the final app concept earned third prize in the competition