Over 740 participants from 37 countries gathered to create innovative digital solutions for cancer and cardiovascular diseases
The Harvard Health Systems Innovation Lab, in collaboration with prominent co-hosts Fundação Getulio Vargas–FGV (Brazil), Universidad del Rosario (Colombia), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México–UNAM (Mexico), Instituto de Governança e Controle do Câncer–IGCC (Brazil), and KeroLab (Peru), recently hosted a highly successful international hackathon on April 20th and 21st, 2023: “Digital Solutions for building High-Value Health Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.” This hybrid event took place in Mexico City, São Paulo, Bogota, Lima, Boston, and remotely via Zoom, with a focus on two major health challenges: cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
More than 1000 applications were received, with 740 participants from 37 countries forming 166 teams. Approximately 400 participants joined remotely, while co-host institutions welcomed over 200 in-person attendees. The event was supported by Movimiento Salud 2030, the Union for International Cancer Control, and the Global Innovation Hub for Improving Value in Health.
Members of the Sao Paolo Hub Organizing team. From left to right: Gustavo Leite, Adriano Massuda, Che Reddy, Gabriela Borin Castillo, Daniely Votto , Fernando Maia (Secretary Minister of Health, Brazil). Photo credit: Vinicius Sales Alcântara
Participants developed groundbreaking solutions for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The best overall project, ‘Pulsus,’ was awarded to a team of five students from various Brazilian universities. Pulsus is a health app designed to improve patient adherence to medical treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Other winning projects included ChagaLens (USA-CAN), a diagnostic tool for Chagas Disease, Prediomic (BRA), a non-invasive clinical tool to predict molecular status based on radiomic features, Oncologix (COL), a software and a device that will match population data with patient data to assess the risk of cancer and will follow-up screened patients, Tumora (MEX), a digital tool proposed to identify individuals at medium and high risk of skin cancer, especially melanoma, and CORA (CRI-USA-BRA), an AI diagnostic and therapeutic tool based on the national database of patients’ health records. Honorable mentions were granted to the Life Sign Project (BRA), Edica (MEX), Biocinema (MEX) and Intus (COL).
In total, the hackathon will distribute USD 15,000 in prizes among the winning teams, further supporting their innovative solutions, and will offer them to join the Harvard HSIL Incubation Program, a six-month period in which teams will be provided with networking opportunities and support to develop a venture plan and an implementation strategy according to the country where the idea will be pursued with the support of our partner organizations and the co-hosts institutions.
This successful event showcases the commitment of the Harvard Health Systems Innovation Lab and its partners to fostering innovation and improving health outcomes in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Finalists and Winners
Winning teams will be offered to join the Harvard HSIL Incubation Program, a six-month period in which teams will be provided with networking opportunities and support to develop a venture plan and an implementation strategy according to the country where the idea will be pursued with the support of our partner organizations and the co-hosts institutions.