Reflecting Mass General’s commitment to global health, CAMTech hosted a recent hack-a-thon focused on improving nursing and midwifery in Uganda.

At the 7th Annual CAMTech Uganda Medtech Hack-a-thon, more than 230 innovators from diverse backgrounds convened to identify challenges and co-create solutions to improve nursing and midwifery in Uganda.

Participants pitched 60 clinical challenges to other innovators before forming 27 cross-disciplinary teams to come up with solutions.

Part of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Global Health, CAMTech is a global network of academic, clinical, corporate, government and nonprofit partners. Collaborating across sectors and geographies, CAMTech — which was recently renamed Springboard Studio — identifies pressing clinical needs from the field, crowdsources innovative solutions and accelerates the process of developing ideas so they can impact patients.

Always focused on health care challenges, CAMTech hack-a-thons are 48-hour events in which individuals from different backgrounds come together to drive innovation. Past CAMTech hack-a-thons have focused on issues ranging from preventing gun violence and combating the opioid epidemic, to improving neonatal and maternal health in low-resource settings.

Uganda Hack-a-thon Winners

The most recent hack-a-thon, held in Mbarara, Uganda, began on Aug. 23, 2019, with a Challenge Summit to identify related needs in training, practice and community outreach. At the Summit, participants pitched 60 clinical challenges to other innovators before forming 27 cross-disciplinary teams to design and build solutions.

Read more about the work of the Mass General Center for Global Health:
First Mile Program Promotes Health in Rural Uganda
Global Health Chief Puts Community Priorities First
Uganda Experience Inspires Global Nursing Fellow
Disaster Response Teams Busy at Home and Abroad

Team Life Relief, one participating team, won the hack-a-thon’s grand prize for its solution: an adjustable bed that can support a patient weighing up to 400 kilos (about 880 pounds) and can also transform into a chair. This solution is designed to ease the physical demand on nurses by helping them comfortably move patients.

Smart Nurse, the first runner-up, proposed a bedside monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence to prevent patient harm. The hack-a-thon’s award for young innovators went to two nine-year-old girls who designed a swing safety belt to reduce the patient load on nurses from falls.

Winning teams received prize money and all 27 participating teams will have the opportunity to compete for membership in the CAMTech Accelerator Program, which provides coaching, milestone-based funding and other forms of support to move the early-stage ideas to patient impact.

Hack-a-thons Reflect Broader Efforts

The CAMTech hack-a-thons reflect broader efforts by the Mass General Center for Global Health to improve health among the most vulnerable in the global community. To do so, the Center leverages Mass General’s legacy of more than 200 years of innovation in medical care, education and scientific discovery.

Mass General faculty and staff are working in more than 70 countries around the globe.

Mass General faculty and staff are working in more than 70 countries around the globe.

Through the Center for Global Health, Mass General deploys teams of medical professionals to respond to natural disasters. Thanks to philanthropy and support from other sources, the center has partnered with communities and local organizations to develop a variety of global health care programs. Other long-running and successful global health initiatives by Mass General faculty include developing vaccines for diarrheal disease in Bangladesh, supporting an oncology program in Botswana and developing palliative care programs in Vietnam.

To learn how you can support the Mass General Center for Global Health, please contact us.