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Athenahealth And MIT H@cking Medicine Announce Winners Of Hack-a-thon

WATERTOWN, Mass., May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- athenahealth, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record ( EHR), practice management , and care coordination, in partnership with MIT's H@cking Medicine, today announced the winners of its Hack-a-thon, held at athenahealth's headquarters in Watertown, Massachusetts, this past May 4-5.

Project MIST received top honors, and a $5,000 cash prize, for a unique solution to the challenge faced by glaucoma patients when applying eye drops: proper execution. The team came up with a hardware prototype that costs roughly $5 to make and would allow patients to fill the container with eye drop fluid and easily spray a mist across the eyes, making it more efficacious, and less cumbersome, than traditional methods.

The goal of the Hack-a-thon was to bring together inventive, forward-thinking minds to take on the status quo in health care and introduce disruptive and meaningful solutions to make health care work as it should. Twenty teams representing more than 100 individuals—including physicians, nurses, engineers, designers, data scientists, students, and software developers—had the opportunity to develop from scratch, or fine-tune a concept, over the course of the weekend and then present a demo of their application(s) to a panel of judges. After 90 minutes of presentations and deliberation, the following were awarded a cash prize:

  • 1 st place: Project MIST
  • 90 percent of glaucoma patients in clinical studies could not effectively administer eye drops on their own. Project MIST delivers an easy-to-use spray canister that transforms drops into a mist.
  • 2 nd place: Hermes
  • A voice-powered, query-based EHR data retrieval system that organizes and prioritizes information for on-the-go caregivers.
  • 3 rd place: Amplitude
  • Enables the easy measurement of patient blood flow and perfusion using an iPhone app and cloud-based video image processing algorithms.
  • "Best User Experience": TestLoop
  • TestLoop is an automated system designed to deliver lab or test results in a timely, concise manner and confirm receipt by the patient.
  • "Best Pivot": Healfair
  • Healfair brings down the costs of dental care for uninsured patients by creating the ability to 'shop' for local dentists online. The team originally set out to review all medical claims cost data, but pivoted their focus to dental care after assessing potential market competition.

$7,500 in cash prizes was provided to the winners by Goodwin Proctor and athenahealth's business development program More Disruption Please (MDP) to fund innovation in health IT. Winners also gain potential access to MDP, aimed at launching a massive surge of disruptive innovation in health care for the overall advancement in the way patient care is coordinated, delivered, and reimbursed. Past participants of hack-a-thons have gone on to start successful health care IT companies, including Smart Scheduling, a current MDP partner.

Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO, athenahealth, said: "The uphill battle for entrepreneurs in health care is huge; heavy regulation, lack of access to data and caregiver access can prove impossible for startups to overcome. A hack-a-thon is about connecting passionate individuals with great ideas to likeminded experts and mentors across different fields. This process can create an onramp for entrepreneurs to health care. Whether that idea is to bring down costs, improve the patient experience, or strengthen care standards and compliance, these 'hackers,' like athenahealth, are focused on making health care work as it should."

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