DiversityxMESH 2020 Hackathon | May 1-3, 2020 | MGH Main Campus

In Collaboration with the MGH Radiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

RE: COVID-19 – While we do not anticipate that it will impact our May hackathon, we will continue to monitor the situation and may adjust the event date as necessary. Please use the sign-up box at the bottom of this page to stay up to date on hackathon news and tickets.


Who We Are

DiversityxMESH is a collaboration between The MGH Radiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the MESH Incubator.  Through this collaboration we focus on developing technology-based solutions to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine as well as patient care.

We believe that targeting inequality enhances the quality of care for all. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of a patient’s needs.”

Diversity in Radiology

Medical imaging continues to become an ever-increasing part of routine healthcare. Prior research has shown that patients of low socioeconomic status, non-English speakers, and minorities were at increased risk for having “imaging missed care opportunities”. This in turn can lead to delays in diagnosis and care. Additionally, as imaging technology continues to become more sophisticated, for example the use of artificial intelligence in imaging, it is important to ensure that it is free of bias. As this can be a challenging task for black-box technologies, it is important to ensure those using, testing, and implementing the technology are as diverse as the patients they treat.

DiversityxMESH 2020 Hackathon: Hacking Health Disparities

May 1-3, 2020

Suggested Attendees: Physicians, Support Staff, Technologists, Nurses, Entrepreneurs, Researchers, Engineers, prior participants in MESH programs.

What is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is a portmanteau of “hacking” and “marathon”, where hacking refers to the idea of developing novel approaches to a problem. A hackathon is an event where groups of participants with diverse backgrounds/skillsets come together to solve real world problems with innovative solutions. Typically held over a 2-3 day period of time, the event provides attendees the opportunity to identify a problem, form a team with talented individuals with different skill sets, and then come up with an innovative solution. Part networking, part conference, part career development, hackathons have become a fun and favorite way to identify and solve problems.

Day 1
All participants congregate in the event space where they are taught how to “hack” a.k.a. innovate by a master hacker. From there they hear talks related to the topic which is the focus of the hackathon to get the wheels turning and the creative juices flowing. From there addition time is set aside for participants to mix and mingle.

Day 2
After breakfast (provided) the first round of pitching and team forming begins. Participants are given the opportunity to step up to the podium and:

1) Pitch a problem—For instance, “As a scheduler for patients, I constantly hear patients have problems making it to appointments on time because their public transport is unreliable or heavily affected by traffic”.

2) Pitch a solution—For instance, “As a patient I hate coming into the city. I want an app that tells me where I can get the imaging studies I need close to home on my own schedule”.

3) Pitch yourself—For instance, “Hi I am a Computer Programmer with experience designing user interfaces” or “I am a nurse with 10 years of clinical experience”.
From there teams form and work on the projects begins.

Day 3
Work on projects continues. Teams pitch their project ideas/prototypes to our panel of judges. Winning teams are provided the support of the MESH incubator and funding to help launch their project.

A Diversity Hackathon?

Whether it is people of color, gender diverse individuals, economically disadvantaged people, or non-English speakers, every healthcare system has populations that do not receive the appropriate level of care. Despite initiatives on improving the patient experience from a hospital-wide prospective, the patient experience in radiology has remained the same. As such, barriers to imaging continue to exist and lead to imaging missed care opportunities which disproportionately affect under-served populations. The purpose of this event is to identify those barriers and develop solutions to ensure everyone has access to the care they deserve.

Marc Succi, MD; Dan Chonde, MD PhD; Sandra Rincon, MD for the DiversityxMESH Team

Interested in participating in the DiversityxMESH Hackathon? Subscribe below to get on the list for (free) ticket announcements, which will occur in March and April, 2020.