HealthHacks Spring 2021 teams tackle medical challenges

team that came in second place shows them “live” on screen with a faculty judge
A multidisciplinary VCU team took second place for their innovation 'Q2Connect: A preventative measure solution for pressure ulcers in hospitalizations and optimization of accountability in healthcare' at the fifth annual HealthHacks.

From improving a heart scanning procedure to reducing bed sores, dozens of students spent 30 hours over the weekend of March 27-28 creating, then presenting their solutions addressing current needs in diagnosis and patient care.

VCU Engineering’s fifth annual HealthHacks medical hackathon was held virtually.

Following the opening ceremony and presentation of challenges, student teams had from noon on Saturday until noon on Sunday to generate and refine their solutions. On Sunday afternoon, all teams presented their work via Zoom to a panel of medical and engineering faculty. Solutions were evaluated on originality of concept, development approach, prototype quality, presentation quality and significance to patient care.

First place was awarded to Team Flying Fish. VCU biomedical engineering students Anica Huang and Tajinder Sandhu addressed improving patient breath control during a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the heart. By gamifying the patient’s voluntary control to hold their breath at a specific point, Huang and Sandhu created a multi-feedback system to guide patient actions. When the patient knows to hold their breath to position their diaphragm in the correct position, the efficiency of the image scan is increased and time for the procedure is reduced. Their solution included a video and audio target from a flying fish jumping out of the water and haptic feedback from a hand-held ball that vibrates like a video game controller.

MRI Maniacs, along with the other top teams, Q2Connect and ProSEN, will automatically be accepted into the Pre-Accelerator program at the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation.

HealthHacks Spring 2021 student organizers, Pranav Ramanan and Emily Clement, led a team of engineering students in planning and implementing this two-day event.

“Our congratulations to all of our winners, I know this was a big weekend,” Clement said during the awards ceremony. “Thank you for persevering through Zoom in this virtual space.” She added, “We look forward to seeing you all for our next HealthHacks, which is going to be in the fall.”


1st place:

“Multimodal Patient Feedback System to Reduce MRI Chest Scanning Duration”
Team members:
Anica Huang, VCU biomedical engineering
Tajinder Sandhu, VCU biomedical engineering

2nd place:

“Q2Connect: A preventative measure solution for pressure ulcers in hospitalizations and optimization of accountability in healthcare”
Team members:
Rohan Ray, VCU computer science
Angela Nguyen, VCU chemistry
Kimberly Pham, VCU computer engineering
Naomi Ghahrai, VCU chemistry

3rd place:

“ProSEN: Smart Monitoring for Your Prosthetic”
Team members:
Anisha Beladia, VCU biomedical engineering
Nina Mei Brooks, University of Virginia biomedical engineering
Josephine Johannes, University of Virginia biomedical engineering
Madhura Managoli, VCU biomedical engineering