2018 Health Hack Competition Challenges


Reducing fentanyl-related deaths, one pump at a time

RP … Fentanyl is a strong synthetic narcotic (about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine) that is typically prescribed to control severe pain. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl has been mixed with other street drugs and illegally sold in pill form (fake oxys), powder form (as heroin or fent) and powder form mixed into other drugs (e.g. cocaine, crystal meth, etc.). People who use drugs (PWUD) are at a higher risk of overdosing when using any type of substance containing fentanyl. Thus, we have seen a spike in fentanyl-related deaths across Canada, that in some provinces like British Columbia, has been considered as a Public Health Emergency. Naloxone is an effective antidote to control fentanyl-related overdoses. In some provinces across Canada, including Alberta, Naloxone is freely available as a strategy to reduce the amount of fentanyl-related deaths (Naloxone kits). This antidote can be applied intramuscular (IM) by using specific doses based on overdose signs and symptoms.


Intensity of upper limb dexterity rehabilitation on the stroke unit

Patients with stroke sit (or more properly lie in bed) on the stroke unit. After the first day or two selected patients have capacity to do upper limb rehab tasks, particularly those that are dexterous and involve fine motor skills. For example, building lego model or knitting or macrame etc. Patients need a menu of things to do that are fun and involve fine motor skills varying from simple to complex as they improve. They need it at the bedside so they can do it hundreds and hundreds of times to get the intensity of rehab that is needed. We need a 'rehab kit' for the stroke unit that would promote upper limb rehab, that can be done sitting or lying, with one hand or two, with graded progression of difficulty.


Dental chair safety harness

The mission of the ACH Dental Clinic is to provide comprehensive dental and oral care for children (0-18 yrs) with medical complexities includes patients with cognitive and/or behavioural disorders, or with movement and spasticity issues. These conditions can significantly impact our ability to perform an examination and provide safe dental services. Would you be able to design a harness that would fit our dental chairs for different size patients in order to position and stabilize them comfortably and safely on the dental chair? (Adjustable three point harness that would prevent patient from sliding down or sideways on the dental chair.)


A Low-Cost Digital Otoscope

Access to tertiary care Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists is extremely limited in many regions outside of major academic centres in North America, while lengthy waitlists in metropolitan areas impair timely access to quality care. This disparity is even worse in most developing countries, where ENT specialist access is almost entirely through medical missions.
The challenge is to make a low cost digital otoscope, capable of taking pictures of the ear drum which can be sent to an ENT or other experienced health care provider to allow for more accurate and timely diagnosis. This solution could be given to primary care providers and could be consumer facing, democratizing access to timely and accurate tertiary specialist care.



The current leads we use have a clip that is squeezed to clip into the ekg dots on the patient. When removing these they often get caught tearing patient's skin or hair. The snap version of these lead can cause bruising. Could you come up with a version that has the clip enclosed so it can't catch?


Wireless ECG

ECGs are diagnostic tools used at the bedside in emergency situations. These machines help diagnose the causes of chest pain and are vital components of a patient's care. When someone presents to the ER or Urgent Care with chest pain, protocols require their use within 10 minutes. ECGs are cumbersome machines. It can easily take a minute to manually input patients' data, proper land-marking of ECG stickers is often done incorrectly, and the wires are almost always tangled around each other. It can take several minutes to shave or wipe the area and a lot of manual manipulation of the leads. Can you develop a machine or even an app that can take a "picture" of the hearts electrical conduction and automatically upload it to the MUSE Cardiology Information system, where cardiologists interpret the results? A bar code scanner should do be implemented for patient data, similar to blood glucose machines now. Streamlining this process will be beneficial to the care and potential outcomes of patients.