Neurological and mental health disorders can be debilitating conditions that severely limit one’s quality of life and that of their family. Understanding, diagnosing, and treating these conditions are extremely complex challenges that require attention and collaboration across traditional disciplinary divides. Neuro Nexus is a Calgary-based, Spring 2019 multidisciplinary design competition that aims to: Bridge gaps between disciplines, accelerate research, and improve the translation of new ideas to impact.
How it works:
Projects are invited from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. 120-150 participants, from a multitude of backgrounds, will then come together in teams of 5-7 individuals to work on the projects proposed over a period of 6 weeks. The program culminated in a 72-hour hackathon weekend where access to prototyping resources are provided, and at Demo Day teams showcased their projects to the community at large.
Trophies were custom-designed and fabricated by Neuro Nexus Gold Sponsor Exergy Solutions!
Project: Providing paramedics with a multi-limbed wireless device to mitigate the adverse effects of strokes.
Team: (from left) Ryan Rosentreter, Noam Anglo, Brittney Herrington, Dr. Aravind Ganesh, Maliyat Noor and Kyle Guild.
Best-in-Category: Data Analytics
Project: Carelytic allows caregivers a way to simply track changes in behavior, medication, diet and aids in finding potentially clinically useful patterns with those who have dementia.
Team: (front row, from left) Pujarati Roy, Roxanne Howard, Jennifer Trinh. (back row, from left) Prince Okoli, Lisa Poole, Gabrielle Gonzaga. Not shown: Sam Joshva, Angela Li
Best-in-Category: Clinical Impact
Project: SPIRAL is a revolutionary stroke diagnostic tool that significantly reduces the time to diagnose a stroke and unburdens clinicians from using clumsy software currently available on the market.
Best-in-Category: Research Impact
Project: Sensor driven data gathering of tics in people with tourettes to accurately gauge effectiveness of treatment.
Project: Our system aims to give children with severe motor impairment the opportunity to bypass their disability to play video games using only their thoughts.
MANDATORY Program submissions
Neuro Nexus wants you to get the most out of the 2019 program, and have therefore designed Program Milestones to help you gauge your progress.
Some milestones are considered Mandatory Components, which include aspects related to safety, team communication, and planning lab time ahead. In addition to this, we’ve also provided recommended Development Reports, which are completely optional, but designed to help you make the most out of the competition. Additionally, Completion of Mandatory Components (on time) and the recommended Development Reports also counts towards points for consideration of awards - so take advantage of locking in these participation points!
Week 0 (March 28)
Week 3 (April 19)
week 6 (May 10)
Attend the Health Hack Weekend and Demo Day
NEW! Demo Day Essentials
DEVELOPMENT REPORTS (competitive program submissions)
Week 3 (April 19)
Week 5 (May 3)
What are the dates for this program?
Neuro Nexus unfolds over 6 weeks, and consists 4 key events:
March 27 Innovator Icebreaker: A casual night of networking with fellow participants.
March 28 Pitch Day: Learn about challenges first-hand from neuroscientists, clinicians, and mental health professionals. After Pitch Day, you and your team will have 6 weeks to understand the problem, design a solution, and develop a build plan for a functional prototype.
May 10-12 Health Hack Weekend: Implement your solution within 72 hours. Access to a broad range of rapid prototyping tools will be provided.
May 13 Demo Day: Showcase your solution to the community and compete for awards.
What are the eligibility criteria for innovators?
Neuro Nexus is a multidisciplinary hackathon open to anyone studying at, or that holds a certification from, a post-secondary education institution.
If you were trained in neuroscience, nursing/medicine, psychology: your experience in the lab, clinic, or community will help shape the critical early stages of design to ensure relevance to the biological problem or human health impact.
If you hail from an engineering or hard science background: your programming, app development, electronics design, 3D printing, and mathematical modelling skills will be most relevant to the challenges posed.
I’m unavailable for some of the key events of the program. Can I still participate as an Innovator?
Absolutely! We recognize that our participants will have different schedules. Missing an event, or a day of the Health Hack Weekend should not disrupt your experience too badly so long as you coordinate with your team.
An exception to this rule is Pitch Day. We strongly recommend that you make every effort to attend this as it’s when you’ll learn about challenges and form a team. Being able to meet with the prospective team members will help you get the most out of the program. If you cannot attend Pitch Day, however, we’ll add you to a ‘Free Agents’ list, so that smaller/underskilled teams that form can recruit you in the first week of the program.