Two Berkeley I School students won first place in this weekend’s Hack2Health “Innovations in Diabetes” Hackathon at UC Berkeley.
The “Innovations in Diabetes” Hackathon challenged participants to design an innovative digital health solution promoting sustained patient engagement and behavioral change in the prevention or management of type 2 diabetes.
Brian Goodness and Owen Hsiao, both first-year MIMS students at the School of Information, teamed up with MBA students Shahida Abdul Rashid and Howard O and bioengineering student Zach Zeleznick for the hackathon. The team designed a product called “D!” to enhance the dining out experiences of diabetes patients and to assist them in making dining choices in restaurants.
Restaurant dining can pose a challenge for people with diabetes. They may not know which restaurants have diabetic-friendly menus, and once they are ordering, the menu may not provide enough nutritional information about each dish. And the challenge is only compounded if the person has other allergies or dietary restrictions in addition to diabetes.
The team aims to address these challenges with a smartphone app. Having this information available at one’s fingertips will provide more than just convenience, the developers believe; it will also improve compliance with dietary guidelines, resulting in overall health improvement.
The system lets users track their eating choices and quantify their progress toward their overall goals, and also allows them to share this information with caretakers and health care providers.
The Hack2Health Hackathon was held Saturday, October 24 at UC Berkeley. Before the hackathon kickoff, participants were be invited to participate in an online forum with other participants and perhaps even form preliminary teams. Participants were also encouraged to prepare for the hackathon by interviewing industry experts and potential end users, such as health care providers or diabetes patients.
The hackathon is the first stage of a three-part Innovation in Diabetes Design Challenge, sponsored by the Haas Healthcare Association, a student-led organization at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. The D! team and other hackathon finalists will be attending the Haas Healthcare Conference November 6 in San Francisco, where they have been invited to present their pitches to a panel of judges representing tech firms, investors, and clinicians. The best pitch will win $2,000, and the top teams will move on to the third stage of the design competition and a potential $5,000 grand prize.