Clinical Research: Phase 1 - Phase 4

MIT’s Hacking Medicine 2017 Grand Hack Weekend

Dr. Thomas Laage,  Director, Product Development Consulting and Regulatory Medical Writing Support tells us about his experience with MIT’s Hacking Medicine Grand Hack Weekend.

It started with an email from Dan Morden, a young biotech entrepreneur in Cambridge whom I had met during a business call several months ago.

MIT’s Hacking Medicine is holding a grand hack on May 12-14th.  Since you were very interested in what [our company] was working on this past fall, I thought of you when I applied.  I think you would make an excellent mentor, with your more than 20 years of private practice experience and current role as a Senior Medical Officer at Premier Research.”

I had never heard of this, but looked at the website, all about “innovating for healthcare’s toughest pain points,” thought it worthwhile, and sent in an application, which was accepted.

I attended a “Pre-Hack” reception in the Boston Seaport District at Continuum, one of the sponsors, on Thursday evening, May 4th, and met an interesting array of MIT students and other “like-minded entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, and healthcare professionals,” and learned about the fundamentals of pitching an idea to investors.

The Grand Hack started Friday evening May 12, with participants sorted into 3 different tracks (I drew “Invisible Conditions”), and we all pitched themes for the weekend (I had an idea about biofeedback for stress reduction from a smart ring) and then attempted to form teams.

This continued on Saturday, by which time I had recruited two very bright and capable team members, and we developed our idea with research, did a practice pitch to the judges and received feedback, and then finalized the presentation slide deck on Sunday for the judging session.

While our team didn’t win any prizes, the array of creative ideas produced by the teams and the energy and passion shown by so many of these young people from all over the world was inspiring and provided a glimpse of the next generation’s potential and capabilities.

Stay tuned for the second post from Dr. Laage on his team’s presentation – if you’re at all stressed, you’ll want to see what his team came up with!