“Pain Points” Addressed at SXSW HackMed Health House

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AbelsonTaylor, HCB Health, JUICE Pharma Worldwide and Otsuka Digital Health (ODH) partnered with MIT Hacking Medicine to host a three-day “HackMed Health House” workshop and mini-hackathon during the Health & MedTech track at SXSW Interactive, which connects thousands of brands and startups from around the world. The event took place March 12-14 at the JW Marriott in Austin, TX.

The three agencies chose to partner with MIT Hacking Medicine, a nonprofit institute spun out of MIT, to examine the intersection of technology and healthcare and bring together stakeholders and other players in the healthcare system to determine how digital technology can shape people’s health, including disease and treatment trends.

The event provided participants an opportunity to identify and address patient “pain points” and produce constructive solutions to improve chronic health conditions that make everyday life easier. Attendees were able to learn from patients through a series of panels and workshops to identify a specific need in healthcare. On day two, teams designed a prototype solution to address that need and turned it into a startup. On day three, existing healthcare startups—and two teams formed at day two’s four-hour mini-hackathon—entered into the “Barracuda Bowl” pitch fest where pharma experts and VCs judged participants’ thinking, crowning a winner in each session.

Since MIT Hacking Medicine was first put into motion four years ago, more than 15 startups have been created and are still thriving today. MIT Hacking Medicine has hosted hackathons in about a dozen countries and has raised $90 million in funding so far from accelerators like Techstars, Rock Health and Y Combinator.

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