Mashery Developer Blog

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Novartis Mobile Health Challenge - San Francisco

Every thirty seconds, someone is hospitalized for heart failure. With more than one million cases occurring each year, each costing the health care industry about $26,000, helping patients manage living with heart failure is a pressing need. Just as important is helping caregivers - family members, loved ones and even professional care takers - manage the stresses that come along with supporting these patients.

The team from Corgil won the Mashery prizes, three Jawbone Ups

The first ever Novartis Mobile Health Challenge, held this past weekend in San Francisco, set out to address these needs. More than 175 developers spent the weekend applying their deep technical knowledge and experience, working side by side with physicians well versed in the challenges heart failure presents, to help dramatically improve the lives of millions of people.

The event opened Friday night with extensive background presented by the Novartis team, including two touching videos that featured real patients and their care takers describing their daily lives. Their mandate in hand, teams began forming and went straight to work defining their solutions. 

This intense focus on solving for specific problems differentiated the Novartis Mobile Health Challenge from your average hackathon. While many of the 46 solutions presented on Sunday night bore a resemblance to on another, the means by which each of them attacked the problem showed genuine creativity. Novartis awarded six prizes:

  • The Physician Sweetener Prize went to Amori for building a fantastic app focused on improving the physician experience when working with patients newly diagnosed with heart failure.
  • Fifth place went to Heart ToDo - an app that provided physician-driven task lists for patients and caregivers to follow each day in order to maintain their health.
  • Fourth place went to Win At Life, which gamified the work of health maintenance and makes the experience less intimidating for the patient.
  • The third place winner, Hearts Connected, kept it simple, relying on SMS and automated phone calls to help patients - who are often not technically savvy - respond to the questions their doctors ask daily while tracking the results. 
  • The beautifully designed Twogether App took second place, helping caregivers maintain vital contact with their loved ones while remotely monitoring their health.
  • The grand prize of $15,000 went to Sense.ly++ for developing an avatar-based app taking advantage of text to speech and voice recognition to make it easier for patients to enter their information while speaking with a more human-feeling interface. 

In all, 10 of the final projects used Mashery-powered APIs from Active.com, Food Essentials, World Weather Online and GoodRX. The teams all found a tremendous amount of value in the data returned by these APIs and took advantage of them to build apps that educated users while making their lives easier.

The best use for these APIs came from Corgil - a mobile app that kept track of the tasks patients needed to take each day while communicating progress back to care givers. What really set them apart was the small UI pieces that demonstrated to the patient why each task was necessary, giving them a small boost each time they checked one off with the intent of encouraging healthier behavior. Their team won four Jawbone Ups for their efforts. 

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Members of the Novartis team celebrate with the event’s winners.

Congratulations to everyone who won and everyone who participated! It was awesome to witness amazing hacks that demonstrate exciting technologies, but it was all the more inspiring to know that these tools can be used to positively impact the lives of millions of people. 

Notes

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