Cognitive Wins First-Place at MIT Medicine Virtual Grand Hack


Cognitive consultants participated in MIT’s Medicine Virtual Grand Hack, taking home a first-place prize in the track of improving access to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of the Grand Hack is to pool the world’s most innovative minds to identify and pitch solutions to pressing healthcare problems in the “tracks” of customized cancer care, digital clinical measures of activity, the future of aging, and access to healthcare during COVID. Many solutions derived from the grand hack go on to become successful companies.

Participants started by pitching current healthcare access problems, ranging from the lack of access to telemedicine among older adults, to the challenges facing pregnant women in traveling for in-person prenatal care.

Upon hearing these problem pitches, hackers from around the world mixed, networked, and flocked to the problems that spoke to them, forming teams of 5-7 members who would have 30 hours to devise a solution to the problem with a viable business model and strong value proposition.

Cognitive team member, Yuna Lee, pitched the eventual first-place winning solution of ‘Mama on Wheels,’ which is a hybrid service van that brings prenatal tests, including the fetal ultrasound and labs, to the doorsteps of pregnant women, while also facilitating telehealth appointments with their obstetrician. ‘Mama on Wheels’ aims to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure from pregnant women’s commutes to hospitals and allow for those with travel restrictions to receive timely care.

Consultants, Michelle Carfagno and Cameron Fuhr, also pitched ideas related to telehealth platforms for older patients and dermatology.