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CAMTech hackathons serve as an open-innovation platform for a diverse community of clinicians, engineers, entrepreneurs, industry experts and end-users to co-create innovations over a 48- hour period. Through cross-disciplinary collaboration, mentorship, time/resource constraints and award incentives, participants are provided a unique environment that spurs innovative solutions that have the potential to transform the way health care is delivered in many settings across the globe.

In collaboration with Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), with support from it’s other sponsors, the three day event is scheduled for August 26th to 28th, 2016 at MUST main campus in Mbarara, Uganda.

Med-tech innovators and developers will have to solve clinical challenges sourced from a network of healthcare experts specializing in surgical care around the world. Among the challenges to solve include;

  1. Reduce the Delays: Innovate the System.
  2. Improving Medical Equipment in LMICs.
  3. Assessing Intra-abdominal Pressure.
  4. Cost-of-Service Calculator.
  5. Accessing Test Results.
  6. Laparoscopic Surgery Training.
  7. Auto-Transfusions in Organ Abdominal Traumas.
  8. Safe, Effective Instrument Removal.
  9. Alternatives for Blood-Oxygen Transport.
  10. Alternative Power Sources in Operating Rooms.
  11. Vertebral Level Identification.
  12. ERM System for surgical patients.
  13. Locally Developed Underwater Seal Chest Drainage.
  14. Efficient Suction Mechanism.
  15. Sterile Blood/Fluid Warming.
  16. Lighting in Surgical Operations.
  17. Improving Microscopic Ear Examinations, Evaluations, and hearing aids.
  18. Airway Forceps for Improving Foreign Body Removal.
  19. Pressure Sore Management.
  20. Antibiotics for Wounds.
  21. Potassium Blood-Level Management.
  22. Bandage/Gauze Care for Wound Patients.
  23. Surgical Chest Tubes.
  24. Follow-up Communication and Care.

The Hackthorn will also be graced by a number of speakers including; Frank Tumwebaze, current Minister of ICT in Uganda, Jerome Kabakyenga, Professor of Public Health at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Prof. Celestino Obua, Vice Chancellor at MUST, Elioda Tumwesigye, current Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation in Uganda, Irene Kagwa, Director for Engineering and Communication Infrastructure at the UCC, Kathleen McKone-Sweet, Professor Of Technology and Operations Management at Babson College to name a few.

Some of the students pitching off their idea to a panel of judges during the CAMTech Global Surgery Hackathon 2015.
Some of the students pitching off their idea to a panel of judges during the 2015 CAMTech Global Surgery Hackathon.

CAMTech Global Surgery Hackathon Prizes include:

  1. $1,000 Prize from the Babson Schlesinger Fund for Global Healthcare Entrepreneurship.
  2. $850 Prize from Safe Surgery 2020/GE Foundation.
  3. $750 Prize from the United Nations Population Fund. 

All participants will also have the chance to win $2,500 (rougly 8.4 million UGX) in post-hack prizes!

Among some of the institutions that attended last years challenge included; Makerere University, Uganda Christian University, Kyambogo University, Kampala International University, International Health Sciences University, Innovex, CodinexÂ, Vellore Institute of Technology in India, MIT in USA.

The hackathorn had over 180 participants who pitched 44 projects that were presented for the awards and in the end, only four winners were announced;

  • First Place: Team MOSES, Mechanically Operated Suction and Evacuation System a low-cost suction device used in medical facilities where electricity and traditional suction pumps are not reliable or readily available, walked away with $1000.
  • First Runners-Up: Team Vein Finder – low-cost tool that uses infrared light to improve the visibility of veins and assists clinicians with treating infant cannulation managed to take with them $750.
  • Second Runners-Up: Team Medicare – an E-system that uses a mobile platform to enable patients needing emergency care to communicate quickly and effectively with nearby hospitals and that also provides health information to the general public, walked away with $500.
  • Fourth Place: Team Haem, an easy to use calibrated patient mat (mama mat) that helps to reduce the occurrence of maternal hemorrhaging walked away with $250.

The hackathorn is fully sponsored by; GE Foundation, BACCA Foundation, CAMTech Uganda, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Safe Surgery 2020, BABSON College, Massachusetts General Hospital, Medtronic,