Health Wildcatters Hacks Healthcare with First Texas Challenge

The first Texas Healthcare Challenge was a hackathon aimed at solving some of the largest problems plaguing the modern healthcare industry. Great minds of diverse education, careers, and social backgrounds came together in ad hoc teams to solve some of healthcare's largest challenges. Here are the winners and finalists of the 2019 Texas Healthcare Challenge.

[Photos: Courtesy of Health Wildcatters]

Health Wildcatters, a Dallas-based seed accelerator, hosted last weekend the first Texas Healthcare Challenge, a hackathon aimed at solving some of the largest problems plaguing the modern healthcare industry. More than 130 attended Friday, and 110 braved Saturday’s full-day hackathon.

In attendance were professionals and students from diverse backgrounds collaborating and competing for cash prizes. The participants were instructed to self-select into ad hoc teams to come up with the most cutting-edge solutions they could find to problems often encountered in the healthcare industry.

“It was one of most intellectually stimulating hackathons I’ve participated in,” says Asad Raza, senior manager, business strategy, Data & Digital Solutions, of team Hemospike. “I saw great minds of diverse education, careers, and social backgrounds come together to solve pressing US healthcare problems. The event provided a forum for individuals and teams to identify and validate a problem, develop a solution and assess business viability towards execution.”

Raza added: “I heard solutions that impacted patient access, provider effectiveness, and system-wide transparency with the primary focus of improving health outcomes and lowering cost. At the end of the event, I observed teams commit to progressing the solutions by either for-profit or not-for-profit startup means. The event has laid a strong foundation for both existing and future healthcare entrepreneurs to execute on ideas that I believe can truly alleviate existing healthcare burdens.” 

Overall, the entire affair may have been best summed up by Lindsey Settles, operations coordinator at Health Wildcatters: “It was amazing to see so many people collaborating and working in our space to create solutions that not only directly impacted them but all healthcare consumers.”

Two winning teams were awarded $1,400, and each of the eight finalists were awarded $400. Click here to read more about the Texas Healthcare Challenge. Along with the cash prizes from the event, IBM awarded two teams—BD Watchdog and Aeromedic—each up to $120,000 in IBM credits.

The winning teams:

Life Chain

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Life Chain team.

Alexander Sauza, physical therapist technician and Life Chain team member, said the event was his first hackathon and he found intellectual and ambitious people, as well as a group really trying to make a difference in the future of healthcare. 

“Although winning one of the first-place prizes was amazing, the knowledge passed down from my teammates, mentors, and staff were truly invaluable,” Sauza says. “If you’re someone who has always felt they’ve had a great idea but didn’t know where to begin, an event like this is a great starting point. Sometimes it’s all about doing something you’ve never done before and seeing where it takes you.”


Hemospike

  • Asad Raza
  • Sureka Gattu
  • Vijas Ram
  • Brad Bradshaw

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Hemospike team.


 

And the finalists:

Hyseek

  • Darragh McArdle
  • Andrew Chalk
  • Yosuf Tamer
  • Tammy Chan
  • Krishna Raineed

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Hyseek team.


Aeromedic 

  • Jessica Thomas
  • Natasha Gordon
  • Karine Pozo
  • Ashley Hill

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Aeromedic team.


Connectology

  • Alan Littenberg
  • Suzie Robinson
  • William Bennett

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Connectology team.


Band in the Hand

  • Michelle Coil
  • Warda Patel
  • Walker Lutringer

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Band in the Hand team.


EPAlert

  • Kalilah Lewis
  • Bhavesh Pranav
  • Lily Chou
  • Brian Kamras
  • Kellen Ragsdale

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the EPAlert team.


The Covered RX App

  • Inga Shivers
  • Jose Lacal
  • Dave Gregorio
  • Douglas Hirsh
  • Tyler Blackburn
  • Jenny Walker

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with The Covered RX team.


Dermapro

  • Veer Mehta
  • Hunter Pyle
  • Monika Maripuri
  • Bishakha Mona
  • Prafulla Maradihalli

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with the Dermapro team.


BG Watchdog

  • Jerry Robinson
  • Nick Pan
  • PeiPing Mo

Hubert Zajicek, MD — CEO, Co-founder & Partner of Health Wildcatters — with members of the BG Watchdog team.

According to team BG Watchdog’s Jerry Robinson, the hackathon was a “fabulous opportunity to meet and collaborate with other focused healthcare innovators.”

“Kudos to Hubert and the support crew for a great opportunity and experience,” Robinson says. “Our group, BG WatchDog, is working on a low cost, continuous, noninvasive (i.e., no skin prick), optical Blood Glucose meter. With 33 million diagnosed diabetics in the U.S. and perhaps 450 million worldwide, our problem is challenging. Hardware and wireless devices are particularly challenging, so THC19 was a real boost in making our vision reality.” 

Event sponsors included Spectrum Reach, Southwestern Medical Foundation, SignalPath, Cigna, and IBM.

“We are grateful for the solid support from sponsors early on as we started planning the Texas Healthcare Challenge in mid-2018. Each of them provided unique assistance that helped us in many ways including event promotion, industry insight to teams, and technology resources,” said Lance Manning, special projects leader, Health Wildcatters.

He added the two-day program included speakers with insights into healthcare problems, solutions and trends around empowered patients. The event ended up with 18 teams and ten cash prizes — $1400 each for the two winners and $400 each for eight finalists.


Photo Gallery

Photos by David Kirkpatrick and Chirag Gupta.

VijayRam and Douglas Hirsh

Chirag Gupta and Ken Tabor

Hubert Zajicek, MD with Khang Nguyen and Allen Crowley.

Hubert Zajicek, MD with Khang Nguyen and Allen Crowley.

Jerry Robinson

 

For more photos, check out Health Wildcatters’ album on Facebook.

Additional reporting by Quincy Preston, Alex Edwards, Payton Potter, and Chirag Gupta.

(Updated 11:07 a.m. 2/17/19 with additional information)

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