Telehealth and Mobile

Track Focus: 

This track will provide the opportunity to learn from seasoned telehealth professionals and patients about the challenges an academic medical center faces in implementing scalable, integrated telehealth solutions – and allow teams to hack solutions for those challenges. During the weekend, participants will take a look at how the emergence of new consumer technologies like Google Glass could change how clinicians may treat medical needs in the future.  Additionally, common obstacles an academic medical center faces when launching a telehealth program will be explored, providing insight into challenges from an operational lens.

Track Participants: 

As a patient, don’t you wish it was more convenient to see your clinician? Today, you have to take time out of work, pay for parking or public transportation, and sometimes even have to wait months before seeing your clinician. With virtual videoconferencing technology, the hassle of seeing your clinician can be alleviated! Instead of traveling across the state, or even across the city for a 15-minute appointment, you could see your clinician with the click of your mouse or touch of your tablet or smart phone. Sound intriguing? Then this track is for you! This track would be great for individuals interested in developing disruptive mobile and telehealth solutions that could really work in an operational setting – and  transform the future of clinicians’ interactions with their patients – including you!

Track Sponsors: 

mgh logo telehealth

About Mass General TeleHealth

Launched as a small startup within the institution of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 2012, MGH TeleHealth is transforming the way patients receive care. Our mission is to connect patients and providers, virtually anywhere, and develop innovative technology that fosters communication, builds relationships, improves access and convenience, and enhances patient care.




Special Update: Mass General TeleHealth Key PainPoints for the Hack

The following painpoints and opportunity areas for hackers were developed by Mass General TeleHealth specifically for the H@ckfest. Attention to these key needs may increase your chances of winning!


1. Keeping up with the Jonses:  The global telehealth market is expected to grow steadily over the next several years and reach $2.5 billion by 2018.  For-profit companies are increasingly providing telehealth solutions across multiple areas and are often easily accessed by patient applications on the iPhone. There applications include second opinions (Best Doctors); urgent care visits (American Well, Teladoc, etc); Minute Clinic tele-monitoring programs. In a world where consumers have information at their finger tips and convenience is a growing priority for Americans, especially working families, how can academic medical centers compete with rising consumer expectations and private companies in this space?

How does MGH provide the same level of convenient, cost effective, and coordinated connected care in this changing world of consumer retail clinic care and maintain its patient base? One component of this is the TeleHealth workflow – currently, getting a patient ready for their first telehealth visit requires significant amount of support and training and the patient population is not very comfortable with IT troubleshooting.

  • Challenge/Pain Point to be Hacked: Can we automate the software download, product installation, equipment and hardware testing, and the simulation visit, prior to the appointment for all platforms (desktop, laptop, iPad; Windows, iOS)?


2. Connecting TeleHealth and mHealth: The market landscape has become cluttered with telehealth and mHealth technology. Literally thousands companies are creating impressive connected health tools across a variety of platforms and clinical conditions. Telehealth and mHealth solutions sometimes address the “end-to-end” experience and sometimes just one “component” of the overall care experience.  While end-to-end solutions may seem easier and “out-of-the box,” they often don’t do everything well and are unable to integrate with other technology platforms necessary for adoption in an academic medical center environment.  On the flip side, “component” solutions often do one thing within the “end-to-end” experience very well, but do not provide a seamless, user-friendly experience for clinicians, patients, or other users.

Like many academic medical centers, MGH clinicians and patients are actively using  many types of telehealth and mHealth technology solutions in the care of patients. For a telehealth interaction, these could include any or all of videoconferencing, imaging, remote monitoring, text messaging, online e-visits, health education apps, secure email, etc.. While all great tools, all of these are on separate platforms without a consistent look, feel, or even consistent logins and passwords. Is it possible to create a seamless user experience for patients and clinicians across multiple systems and modalities? How can patients (and clinicians!) make sense of the data and not become bombarded with it?

  • Challenge/Pain Point to be Hacked: Build a solution that can provide the clinician and patient a user friendly interface for using multiple modalities including but not limited to videoconferencing, imaging, remote monitoring, text messaging, online e-visits,and  health education apps, which also integrates with existing solutions such as the  EMR, paging, single-sign-on, and secure messaging.


3. Google Glass for Remote Monitoring: There are many different ways clinicians transmit information. With 70% of the market using tablets and clinicians bringing them to work—their hands are literally tied. Google Glass may make it possible for clinicians to respond or view checklists while they are scrubbing in or performing a procedure. Imagine a world in an augmented reality: a clinician could look at an arm and overlay a CT scan. Or a dermatologist could look at a rash and Google Glass could compare it to a database and come up with a diagnosis. The future is wide open (Healthcare IT News).

One real-world program at MGH is the real-time monitoring of patients. Whether in a critical care unit, or for patients who undergo conscious sedation or general anesthesia, patient safety is paramount.  In the case of anesthesia, surgeries require the presence of a nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist for the purposes of monitoring. Given the rising cost of healthcare, and specifically procedures, could senior physician anesthesiologists monitor multiple patients at once from a central command center where they could, for example, scroll through five different patients’ real-time vital signs from a remote environment.

  • Challenge/Pain Point to be Hacked: Build a platform that a senior physician anesthesiologist could use to monitor multiple patients at once from a central command center where they could, for example, scroll through five different patients’ real-time vital signs from a remote environment. 

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