This past Saturday and Sunday were a productive 48 hours for Erik Krogh-Jespersen, a student in the Evening & Weekend MBA Program. On Saturday, he was part of the team that won the UC Berkeley Digital Health Hackathon, with a way to track child immunizations in rural India. On Sunday, he was one of eight evening and weekend MBA students completing the Tough Mudder. Get the dirt on Tough Mudder in this Haas Achieves post and read on to learn about the winning Health Hackathon team.
Krogh-Jespersen teamed with Sanat Kamal Bahl and Anandamoy Sen, both MBA 14, and with software programmers Shinto Manuel and Jeremy Rahe, Public Health Adjunct Professor Julia Walsh, and mechanical engineering student Srihari Yamanoor to win the 24-hour competition, which challenged students to “build apps that change lives.” The event, held at Skydeck, is co-hosted by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, the Haas Entrepreneurs Association, and UC Berkeley’s CITRIS.
It began with a 60-second elevator pitch on Friday evening to attract teammates. In this case, Bahl, Krogh-Jespersen, and Sen made the pitch and Manuel, Rahe, Walsh, and Yamanoor signed on. The team then worked through most of Friday night and most of Saturday, coding, designing and building—to make a 6:00 p.m. Saturday pitch to judges.
Team Immutrac proposed a way to track child immunizations in rural India using only a feature phone (aka a “dumb” phone) on the side of the rural villagers and a smart phone on the side of the Healthcare providers. A readable/writable device would allow a villager to keep electronic medical records for her child on her phone, to receive text message reminders about the upcoming need for a shot, and to have the record updated with each visit.
“We were targeting the over 160,000 child deaths that occur from vaccine preventable diseases in India with an extremely cheap solution that could function without power cords or internet connections,” says Krogh-Jespersen. He credits the diversity of the team for making the event “so amazing.” A chemistry team leader with Nanosyn, Krogh-Jespersen says, “You can imagine that as an organic chemist, I have no clue what technology solutions are possible, but both Haas and this event bring these people together--and big things happen.”