About

What is HealthHacks?

HealthHacks is a 24-hour sprint of intense innovation and problem solving focused on unmet medical needs. Participants address challenges through teamwork, solution ideation, programming, rapid prototyping, developing flow processes and more.

While one of only a few medical hackathons in the U.S., HealthHacks is rare by focusing predominantly on medical device product innovation. Interdisciplinary teams of students with backgrounds in engineering, business and science are encouraged to think of their own solutions and develop projects with the potential to succeed in the market. After the event, VCU’s Pre-Accelerator program provides support to successful teams, enabling students to further develop their products and ideas and bring them to market.

Fall 2021 Theme:

Reimagining Medical Education: Physical Technologies, Software Design and Products

This year's theme seeks to take a look at how medical education can be transformed using innovative tools and resources, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. The College of Engineering is collaborating with the VCU Health Innovation Consortium and a number of schools across the medical campus to transform learning in the classroom and in the clinic.

Throughout the years, HealthHacks student teams have been tackling medical needs in multiple specialties and creating innovative solutions for rehabilitation, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. This year, teams will be seeking to transform the future of medical teaching and professional learning. By creating new approaches that utilize modern technology, methods, and tools, HealthHacks participants can support continued advancements in education and patient care. By having medical students and faculty mentors work with engineering, business, arts, and science students, we aim to provide all participants with unique cross-disciplinary learning experiences.

Undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines are welcome including engineering, business, arts, humanities & sciences, and medical professions, including medicine, allied health professions, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry. No experience necessary! Join us and learn about challenges and contribute your ideas for new solutions and innovations in teaching and learning.

Prizes will be awarded to three teams with the best solutions selected by a panel of faculty and industry judges. All HealthHacks participants will receive a complimentary bag of event swag that will include sanitation and hygiene items for personal use.

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.