Clinical Research: Phase 1 - Phase 4

MIT’s 2017 Grand Hack Weekend, Part Two

Dr. Thomas Laage,  Director, Product Development Consulting and Regulatory Medical Writing Support shares more about his participation in MIT’s Hacking Medicine Grand Hack Weekend.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was excited to participate in MIT’s Hacking Medicine Grand Hack. I paired up with two other attendees to develop and pitch our idea to the judges. Our presentation was entitled “Follow Your Stress” (apologies to Joseph Campbell!) and identified the health and wellness consequences of unacknowledged and unmanaged stress.

Although you can’t avoid stress, you can minimize by choosing how you respond to it. The first step is being aware of stress and we chose as our problem “low awareness of stress” and offered a solution to provide “hassle-free awareness of stress level.”

Although there are many wearable devices and mobile phone apps on the market that monitor stress and can provide feedback on stress levels by viewing the app, none of them provide a direct signal to the wearer to indicate increased stress.

We proposed a wearable finger ring that uses heart rate variability and electrodermal activity to monitor stress level and communicate this to the wearer by a low-frequency vibration on the underside of the ring. This would be noticeable only by the wearer, preserving confidentiality. Other features could be added, but we proposed simplicity to keep costs low.

Some of the other attendees I had the pleasure of meeting – at the top left, Ruth is a medical student from Germany working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School on inflammation in depression. Ricki on the bottom left is an Israeli army vet and physical therapist working on a device to help disabled people clean themselves after using the bathroom. She had a hard time recruiting teammates for this in her division, sadly.

While we didn’t win any prizes, this invigorating weekend was inspiring. We’re in good hands with this next generation of healthcare pioneers!

Looking forward to seeing next year’s ideas!