What is HealthHacks?

A medical hackathon is similar in structure to a traditional “hackathon,” however the focus is on solving medical unmet needs through any means, from programming to rapid prototyping or developing flow processes—it's up to you! This is the fourth year of HealthHacks, VCU's annual medical hackathon, which will take place on Nov. 2-3, 2019 at VCU’s Monroe Park Campus in the East Engineering Building. It is a 24-hour period of intense innovation and problem-solving.

This year's theme: Pharmaceutical Innovations for Patient Care.

Pharmaceuticals touch every aspect and age in healthcare and are versatile tools that physicians use to treat patients. The HealthHacks challenges for 2019 will explore creating new methods, devices and tools that could potentially revolutionize patient care. Teams of students from diverse backgrounds — including engineering, computer science, business, design and health professions — will come up with ideas to make it easier and safer to deliver medications. Team solutions may be physical technologies, software designs and/or products to assist physicians, pharmacists and caregivers in managing patient medications. Industry and academic sponsors will present real-world challenges to all on Saturday morning.


Have an idea for a solution to a medical problem?  Bring it.  Assemble a team while at HealthHacks and devote the hackathon to finally developing the solution.  Don't have an idea?  Come and be challenged by problems pitched from patients, medical doctors, clinicians, and biomedical engineers. Note that by attending this event, you agree to the MLH Code of Conduct (.PDF).

MLH Logo


What is Rapid Prototyping?

At HealthHacks, our motto is aligned with VCU's "Make it Real". If a team chooses to conquer product design, hospital throughput, or patient experience, each team will end the hackathon with a concrete prototype in some form, whether it be physical foam, 3D printed plastic, manipulation of an existing provided device, a new phone app, or a program. We will have mentors from all fields: engineering to medicine to industry, helping guide teams to develop their solutions.


Saturday, November 2, 2019

8am: Registration, 1st floor cresent hallway (indoors)

9:45am: Opening Ceremony and Problem Pitching, Room B1127

11:30am: Team Formation: People Bingo, Snead Hall Atrium

Noon: Food Truck Rally Lunch, 1st floor cresent (outdoors)
Meet with Mentors, Brainstorming, and START HACKING, Qimonda Atrium

3pm: Workshop 1: Garret Westlake; Product Innovation, Room E1232

6pm: Dinner; PF Chang's,  1st floor cresent hallway (indoors)

8pm: MLH Hosted Mini-Event, Qimonda Atrium

Sunday, November 3, 2019

12am: Midnight Pizza and Halloween Bash, Qimonda Atrium

6:30am: Early Bird Breakfast, 1st floor cresent hallway (indoors)

8am: Breakfast, Panera Bread, 1st floor cresent hallway (indoors) 

9am: Workshop 2: Joshna Seelam; Killer Project Presentations, Room E1232

11am: Judge Training, Room E1232

11:45am: Submissions Due/HACKING ENDS, Anything submitted after 12pm will not be judged

Noon: Sponsor Fair, Qimonda Atrium

Lunch: Roots Natural Kitchen, 1st floor cresent hallway (indoors)

1pm: Judging Begins, Snead Hall Atrium

3pm: Projects Open for Public Display, Snead Hall Atrium

3:30pm: Awards Ceremony and Closing, Room B1127

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Attendees must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a college or university, and must agree to the MLH Code of Conduct

Do I need to know how to code?

Nope! Medical innovation relies heavily on interdisciplinary collaboration, so students from all disciplines are welcome. In fact, the skills of an art, business, or medical student can really help your team’s work stand out from the crowd.

Is HealthHacks a safe space?

Major League Hacking (MLH) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) stand for inclusivity. We believe that every single person has the right to hack in a safe and welcoming environment. Learn more about the MLH Code of Conduct.

Is this a team event?

Yes. Either build your own team, or come meet students from a variety of fields and we’ll help you find a team that can utilize your skills. Teams should have no more than 4 people

Will event transportation be available?

No. Please provide your own transportation.

Will we be working the whole time?

Nope! Come have fun with similarly-minded people! We have several food breaks that highlight some of Richmond’s best cuisine, and we’ll have games and cool new tech to mess around with when you need a break from work! Additionally, there will be physician lectures throughout the event that will include cool clinical cases, as well as a student workshop on Saturday night with an engineering/design focus

What do I need to bring to the event?

Don't forget a valid ID and a sleeping bag if you are planning to stay overnight. If you have hacking equipment, feel free to bring it.

What if I don't have hardware?

Hardware will be available to rent for the weekend.  Mentors will be available for technical guidance and to troubleshoot.  Come to HealthHacks especially if you don't know anything about hardware or 3D printing and want to learn!


HealthHacks would not exist without great sponsors. The event is an excellent opportunity to connect with and evaluate talent. You’ll see how the next generation of leaders can scope and creatively solve problems under pressure.

Sponsorship Levels:

Platinum $10,000

  • Event Co-Host
  • Give or Sponsor a Keynote speech
  • Have a dinner named after your company (Limited to 1)*
  • Top T-shirt logo placement

Includes all the benefits of the gold, silver, bronze, and supporter packages, with the exception of a named meal.

Gold $5,000

  • Create a Challenge for the event
  • Give or Sponsor a Tutorial Session, Tech Talk, or Workshop
  • Have a lunch named after your company (Limited to 2)*
  • Priority T-shirt logo placement

Includes all the benefits of the silver, bronze, and supporter packages, with the exception of a named meal.

Silver $2,500

  • Host a Tutorial Session, Tech Talk, or Workshop
  • Have a breakfast named after your company (Limited to 2)*
  • Prominent T-shirt logo placement

Includes all the benefits of the bronze and supporter packages.

Bronze $1,250

  • Representative & booth at the event
  • Access to participants’ resumes

Includes all the benefits of the supporter package.

Supporter $500

Show Your Support with a Presence at the Event

  • Logo on t-shirts
  • Judge entries

Contact Us About Becoming A Sponsor:

For information about becoming a sponsor, please view the HealthHacks Packet 2019.

To get in touch about becoming a sponsor, please contact HealthHacks at healthhacks@vcu.edu or call (804)828-0349.

2019 Partnerships

2019 Sponsor Logos

Major League Hacking 2020 Hackathon Season