By the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute
On March 23 and 24, the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the UM Miller School of Medicine in conjunction with Lift1428, a Miami-based innovation, design and strategy firm devoted to the healthcare industry, hosted Impact Obesity, a hackathon that sought to inspire innovative business ideas that incorporate technology to manage and reduce obesity in minority communities. “We want to inspire new ideas about how we can facilitate better health behavior and reduce the obesity problem facing Miami,” said event coordinator Norma Kenyon, Ph.D., Director of the Novel Clinical and Translational Methods program at the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Over two days, five teams that included web developers, programmers, graphic artists, medical and nutrition students gathered at the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park to collaborate on solutions to fight obesity and compete for resources that would help them take their ideas to the next level. Right Space Innovation provided a comfortable and modern hacking space at the Miami Innovation Center where teams had access to UM researchers and healthcare experts and development support from Rokk3r Labs. Three winning teams were selected and awarded coworking space memeberships at the Miami Innovation Center.
First place went to Katherine Martin, Robert Hellestrae, Frank Haggar and Johanna Lopez for their concept, “No Obese City” – a multilingual portal that engages parents and children to live a healthy lifestyle. Parents, who enroll their children in school lunch programs, would be able to track and receive reports on their child’s nutritional intake and daily physical activity. The goal, team members said, is to help parents make better decisions. In addition to receiving a 12-month CoWork Space Membership, the team was invited to interview with the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute for possible funding opportunities.
Second place went to Christopher Scott, Jeffery Coleman and Alfonso Guerra for their idea called “EmfaSyze,” a gaming system where users compete for the healthiest lifestyle. This application, with a mobile interface, would allow users to track their food consumption and exercise and assign a point-system to those choices and activities. Users would compete with one another for the best scores. Team “EmfaSyze” received a 6-month CoWork Space Membership.
Third place went to team “Rumba Fit,” comprised of two UM medical students who developed their concept through their direct interactions with patients in the local community. Their application shows people how to dance through virtual instruction and uses a mapping function to locate dance spots near them. The students, Ananth Sastry and Hadi Kaakour, say dancing is an easy way to get high-risk patients to move in the comfort and safety of their homes. Team “Rumba Fit” received a 3-month CoWork Space Membership.