News at Medicine - March 2018 - A winning idea


A winning idea
March 13, 2018
A group of staff from the Faculty of Medicine recently developed a winning idea.
 
Sean O’Neill, Chad Lawlor and Dean Klemola, who are all with the Health Sciences Information Management Service (HSIMS), were part of team of nine that attended the Hacking Health Hackathon on March 9 where they developed and pitched an app that won second place.

The group developed the app to help people track their immunizations, get notifications when immunizations expire, get notifications of local disease outbreaks as well as global health alerts for travelers.
 
The app, called Immune-Check, also lets travelers know what immunizations they require for travel. For example, it knows what immunizations you already have and can recommend additional immunizations if you planned to travel to places like Malaysia or Uganda. Dean Margaret Steele and the Deputy Minister of Health, John Abbott, were two of the judges.


 
(Photo (l-r): Dr. LarryAlteen (judge), Immune-Check team members Sean O'Neill, Xiaodong Yan, Prasanga Dhakal, Jeremy Hetzel, Mollie Butler, Dean Klemola, Ken March, Chad Lawlor and Munya Mazambani, and Dr. Margaret Steele (judge))

Mr. O’Neill, who is the director of HSIMS, says the team was very happy to come second out of ten teams. “Vaccination is the most efficient form of health care. Cheap shots that protect you against really nasty and sometimes fatal diseases. No other app does this. Effective vaccination of the whole population also saves the health system money by preventing ambulance trips, emergency department visits and acute care admissions.” 
 
“Using data from Europe, we calculated that our app can save the health system $2 million per year in Newfoundland,” he noted.
 
The annual Hacking Health St. John’s Hackathon, a weekend-long event, is an international movement designed to improve health care by inviting technology creators and health care professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems.