Announcing the September Health+ SCD Healthathon
By Maia Laing, Senior Business Consultant, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Michael Crawford, Associate Dean for Strategy, Outreach, and Innovation, Howard University College of Medicine
Sickle Cell Disease, or SCD, affects millions of people worldwide, many whom suffer silently with little help. Over the past few months, we have been working with partners to learn from a diverse group of individuals living with SCD, their families/caregivers, and patient advocates. Through these stories, we are mapping their complex journeys and identifying opportunities to improve care.
One outcome of this work is a new HHS partnership with Howard University’s 1867 Health Innovations Project. This partnership will accelerate innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for individuals living with SCD. In this blog, we announce a special upcoming event and an opportunity for others, including cross-disciplinary teams, to help meet this important goal by developing crowd-sourced, prototype solutions.
Learn How You Can Participate in the September Health+ SCD Healthathon
Our organizations will host the Health+ Sickle Cell Disease Healthathon, an innovation contest to foster ground-breaking and data-driven solutions for SCD care.
Drawing inspiration from hackathons and focused on the creation of solutions in healthcare, this virtual event will occur September 3rd – 25th, during Sickle Cell Awareness Month. We invite you to save the dates, start brainstorming, and develop prototype solutions in response to these specific challenges affecting those living with SCD:
- How could the experience around emergency room care be improved?
- Continuity of care from pediatric to adulthood – What could improve the transition?
- How can we improve treatment options, access to new and emerging therapies, and sustainable outcomes for individuals living with SCD?
During the two-week-long collaborative Healthathon execution period, we welcome draft solutions within the challenge area. All we ask is that you utilize the background materials provided and your own ingenuity. Solutions can range from a communications plan to drafts of an emergency room policy, or take the form of technology, payment structures, process solutions, and more. Judges will review submissions and announce contest winners on September 25th during a live Healthathon finale event.
Register for an Account and Join Us!
We encourage people across all backgrounds to participate. We want to see those living with SCD, healthcare providers, policymakers, designers, engineers, writers, educators, data scientists, and others. You may work independently or form collaborative teams that work across and within disciplines to craft creative approaches to SCD challenges.
You don’t have to be an expert to be a part of the solution. You don’t have to dedicate set hours each day during the challenge to participate; set your own schedule and work at your own pace within the two weeks of the Healthathon.
To learn more, register for an account at data4scd.crowdicity.com. There you will meet other interested participants and review resources. We’re looking for people like you to participate in the Healthathon as unique problem solvers who are ready to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals living with SCD.
This article was originally published on HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer blog and is republished here with permission.