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 Table of Contents  
INNOVATION
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 239-241

Medical hackathon – The beginning of smart innovation


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Sadhu Kamal Eye Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 Department of Glaucoma, Little Flower Hospital and Research Center, Angamaly, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Cornea, Agarwal Eye Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Ophthalmology, Sentra Clinic and Hospital, Mumbai, India
5 Department of Ophthalmology, Khatib Eye Clinic, Mumbai, India
6 Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Design Way, Mumbai, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashish Ahuja
Department of Ophthalmology, Sadhu Kamal Eye Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kjo.kjo_79_19

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  Abstract 


The last decade has seen an innovation boom across the nation and what is special is that these hack inventions are not just creative, they are tailor made to suit our Indian scenario. Doctors are the most trained health care providers of any nation and it is time that we realize that the responsibility of innovation heavily lies on our shoulders too. MedHacks is the start, with a focus on Smart Innovations that are efficient, cost effective, user friendly and 'take to field' portable, this initiative is one of its kind. These frugal innovations pave the path to healthcare access for all. A Medical hackathon is an event in which people from various backgrounds such as clinicians, engineers, designers and software developers come together in an intense three-day workshop to develop solutions that address challenges facing healthcare today. Participants form teams, collaborate within a limited time frame, and focus on a specific health care problem to come up with ideas or solutions. In this manuscript we will be discussing 2 such hackathon events that were conducted in the past during the conferences and the device prototypes developed during these events.

Keywords: Hackathon, innovation, smart angle imaging device, three-dimensional printing, track patch


How to cite this article:
Ahuja A, Akkara JD, Sood S, Modi RR, Khatib Z, Uttamani L. Medical hackathon – The beginning of smart innovation. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2019;31:239-41

How to cite this URL:
Ahuja A, Akkara JD, Sood S, Modi RR, Khatib Z, Uttamani L. Medical hackathon – The beginning of smart innovation. Kerala J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 4];31:239-41. Available from: http://www.kjophthal.com/text.asp?2019/31/3/239/274596




  Introduction Top


The last decade has seen an innovation boom across the nation and what is special is that these hack inventions are not just creative, they are tailor-made to suit our Indian scenario. Be it the Solar water purifier, the Rural Milking Machine, or the Mitticool village fridge,[1] each one is efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly. There has also been a similar breakthrough in the health-care industry with the invention of cost-effective sanitary napkins, solar water purifier, T3 Retcam from plastic bottle,[2] and prosthetic limbs made from bamboo cane. Most of the innovators hail from a rural background, emphasizing once again that necessity is indeed the mother of innovation.[3]

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like ours bear 90% of the global burden of diseases.[4],[5] However, medical technology innovation largely occurs in high-income countries; as a result, an estimated 40%–70% of such innovations fail when implemented in LMICs.[6],[7] Hence, innovative medical technologies are included in one of the six essential building blocks of the WHO Health System Framework.[8]

Doctors are the most trained healthcare providers of any nation, and it is time that we realize that the responsibility of innovation heavily lies on our shoulders too. What if the most creative minds channeled their energy into solving the most impactful problems of today? Imagine if we could apply the power of technology into the most fundamental of all human concerns: health.[9] MedHacks is the start, with a focus on Smart Innovations that are efficient, cost-effective, user-friendly, and “take to field” portable; this initiative is one of its kind. These frugal innovations pave the path to healthcare access for all.[10]

A medical hackathon is an event in which people from various backgrounds such as clinicians, engineers, designers, and software developers come together in an intense 3-day workshop to develop solutions that address challenges facing health care today. Participants form teams, collaborate within a limited time frame, and focus on a specific health care problem to come up with ideas or solutions.

At MOSCON 2018, a medical hackathon was organized where we defined a problem statement to work on: a rapid screening tool to view and image the angle of the anterior chamber of the eye. We successfully devised a prototype for the same and called it smart angle imaging device (SAID) [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Three-dimensional printed smart angle imaging device which uses a smartphone and gonioscope to take photos of the angle

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A similar hackathon was organized at AIOC 2019 Indore [Figure 2]. It led to the development of track patch, a smartphone linked time tracker for amblyopia occlusion patching [Figure 3].
Figure 2: The hackathon team at AIOC 2019-Indore. Rutwi Shah, Dr. John Davis, Dr. Shana Sood, Dr. Ashish Ahuja, Dr. Rohit Modi, Lavina Utamani, Rutuja Patel

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Figure 3: Track patch - SmartPhone linked time tracker for amblyopia occlusion patching

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  Materials and Methods Top


Materials provided comprised basic materials such as pen and paper to electronic development kits, including breadboards, resistors, switches, wires, and basic ICs. All basic electronic processors such as Arduino Uno, Arduino Nano, Raspberry Pi, and Orange Pi were provided along with the compatible software to use them.

Same-day prototyping using three-dimensional (3D) printing was also available for the team to explore. The technology of 3D printing has helped tremendously in speeding up hardware innovation.[11] Software programs such as Rhinoceros, Solidworks, and NX were used for CAD modeling, and Flash print and Cura were used for preparing the 3D printing. Ceta3D printer and flashforge dreamer were provided with ABS and PLA to print the prototypes during the hackathon.


  Discussion Top


For hacking together gonio-imaging, the two basic devices we had were a four-mirror indirect gonioscope and a smartphone. Smartphones have fueled frugal innovation by the accessibility and portability of high technology.[12] We had to create an adapter by which the image of the angles viewed through the gonioscope could be digitally captured and magnified enough to get a meaningful interpretation. The magnification was obtained using a biconvex lens, and the attachments for the goniolens, smartphone, and magnification lens were created using 3D printing. By the end of 48 h, a rough prototype was created with which we could capture the angles of the model eye using the four-mirror gonioscope [Figure 4]. We named the device: SAID [Figure 1].
Figure 4: Image taken through a smart angle imaging device showing angles in a model eye

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These devices were by no means finished “ready-to-use” products, but only a prototype which would need further modifications and refinement.


  Conclusion Top


Innovation in medicine needs the culmination of three things: inspiration, knowledge of medicine, and modern-day technology. We suggest the model of a medical hackathon for this and would encourage it to be a part of all ophthalmic conferences.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Simula H, Hossain M, Halme M. Frugal and reverse innovations–Quo Vadis?. Current science. 2015;109:1567-72.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Chandrakanth P, Ravichandran R, Nischal NG, Subhashini M. Trash to treasure retcam. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:541-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
3.
Weil AR. The promise of biomedical innovation. Health Aff (Millwood) 2015;34:198.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Murray CJ, Lopez AD. Global mortality, disability, and the contribution of risk factors: Global burden of disease study. Lancet 1997;349:1436-42.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Global Health Estimates. World Health Organization. Available from: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/en/. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 13].  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Howitt P, Darzi A, Yang GZ, Ashrafian H, Atun R, Barlow J, et al. Technologies for global health. Lancet 2012;380:507-35.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Perry L, Malkin R. Effectiveness of medical equipment donations to improve health systems: How much medical equipment is broken in the developing world? Med Biol Eng Comput 2011;49:719-22.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
World Health Organization. Everybody's Business – Strengthening Health Systems to Improve Health Outcomes: WHO Framework for Action. World Health Organization; 2007. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43918. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 13].  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
DePasse J, Caldwell A, Santorino D, Bailey E, Gudapakkam S, Bangsberg D, et al. Affordable medical technologies: Bringing value-based design into global health. BMJ Innov 2016;2:4-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Ahuja A. Commentary: Frugal innovations – Path to eye care for all. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:544-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
11.
Akkara J, Kuriakose A. The magic of three-dimensional printing in ophthalmology. Kerala J Ophthalmol 2018;30:209-15.  Back to cited text no. 11
  [Full text]  
12.
Akkara JD. Commentary: Dawn of smartphones in frugal ophthalmic innovation. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1619.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]



 

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