Beat the Pandemic

April 3-5, 2020

— Challenge Prompts —

© Copyright 2020

 

PROTECTING VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

How to protect vulnerable populations from the effects of COVID-19? 

  • Track A. Expanding and improving access to COVID-19 education and resources: How do we keep community residents with limited/poor access to COVID-19 information and available community resources up-to-date to ensure basic needs are being met (e.g. shelters, pantries)? As telehealth becomes essential and remote monitoring tools are adopted, how do we ensure that vulnerable populations are connected, have access, and can utilize high-speed internet options quickly (i.e. reduce the complicated process to show eligibility)?
  • Track B. Who to test and when?: How do we appropriately and more efficiently identify patients and health care workers that should be tested for COVID19? With limited testing available and results taking longer, how can we speed up the process and better triage the testing and the test reporting? How can we identify and monitor patients and health care workers who may be at higher-risk exposure or have pre-existing conditions that might be more adversely affected? How do we predict who will worsen rapidly and need higher level care more urgently?
  • Track C. At-Home Patient Triaging: How do we better educate the more at-risk and vulnerable populations on how to accurately monitor their symptoms, and triage them to prevent them for coming in to an overwhelmed ED when they don’t need to? How do we provide mechanisms for self-assessments and remote assessments to more quickly and accurately identify patients who need to come into the hospital vs. those who can continue to stay home?
  • Track D. COVID-19 Treatment and Management:  The clinical treatment of COVID-19 has become a decentralized non-controlled clinical trial. How do we best collect the data to determine what if any are the best clinical pathways for the most vulnerable and higher risk patients at different age groups, ethnicity, comorbidities, etc.? How can we quickly collaborate and share information across all the silos within our systems, with other systems, and with healthcare professionals at large? How do we more rapidly vet and distribute new findings, best practices, high quality data globally as it becomes available?
  • Track E. Impact of Social Distancing and Quarantines: As patients both inside the hospital and outside in the community continue to stay in isolation, practice social distancing, and quarantines, how do we address the consequences of these measures? Such consequences for patients with no visitor policies, no access to smart phones, or in home isolation can include loneliness, mental well-being, and quality of life. Are there alternate ways at-home care personnel (medical, educational, daily living) can continue to provide services, in spite of the challenges of physical distancing?


HELPING HEALTH SYSTEMS

How to support hospitals with shortage of staff, supplies, and resources?

  • Track F. Identifying the COVID-19 Immune: We need to develop methods to identify immunity status that are reliable and non-healthcare system intensive. This will allow people to return to the workforce without hijacking the scarce resources of the healthcare system that should be directed to the critically ill.
  • Track G. New ways to deliver care in a COVID-19 World: What alternative health care delivery models could we harness to eliminate gaps in care intensified (or brought about) by the current situation? Although telehealth is a good large-scale example, what else is out there?
  • Track H. Hospital Assets Coordination, and Distribution: Coordination – How to coordinate and communicate the needs of hospital system (medical supplies, lab supplies, research supplies, medical equipment, food, electronics, donations) and how to provide appropriate channels to automatically process or redirect appropriately on intake. Distribution – How do we provide a less hands-on automated way to distribute PPE to staff?
  • Track I. Space conversion, utility, and projections: As cities prepare for continued community spread and potential surge in COVID-19 patients, many are looking for new ways to convert existing spaces to treat more COVID-19 patients while finding new spaces to separate non-COVID-19 patients such as hospital tents. How can we more efficiently and creatively provide new expandable places, flex existing spaces based on active needs, provide better predictions on upcoming needs? Could we take advantage of available data to help inform hospitals to plan for surge capacity? Additionally, how can we retro-fit non-hospital spaces such as hotels, and other unused spaces to support non-COVID-19 patients so that hospital-based spaces can focus on COVID-19 patients?
  • Track J. Health care workforce well-being, management, training: As the impact of COVID-19 on hospital systems and health care workforces continues, how can we best help hospitals quickly shift human resources, redeploy healthcare workers appropriately based on skills sets, and quickly train current/new healthcare workers to fill certain needs of the health system while protecting the physical and mental well-being of our healthcare workforce?

— Frequently Asked Questions —

— Agenda —

Friday, April 3rd

Event kickoff and team formation @ 6pm EST 


Saturday, April 4th

Teams hone down on the problems, generate solutions, including proof of concepts, prototypes, and preliminary vision for execution


Sunday, April 5th

Teams submit final presentation @ 3pm EST

Winners announced + next steps @ 6pm EST


tentative schedule

General Information

WHAT IS THE MIT COVID-19 CHALLENGE? 

The MIT COVID-19 Challenge event, Beat the Pandemic, is the second in a series of virtual hackathons. Over the course of two days, multi-disciplinary teams will collaborate to develop innovative solutions that can help address the COVID-19 crisis. We are focused on connecting teams with the tools and resources needed to develop mature solutions that can be implemented by our partners. After the Challenge, selected teams will have the opportunity to bring their solutions to life with the support of our partners.  

The next event is April 3-5, 2020. In this 48-hour virtual event, we will help tackle the most critical unmet needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. 


WHERE IS THE CHALLENGE TAKING PLACE? 

This is a virtual event. Teams will work together throughout the two-day event using tools such as Zoom, Google Drive, and/or Slack. 


WHEN WILL THE CHALLENGE TAKE PLACE?

The virtual challenge will take place from 6pm EST Friday, April 3rd through 6pm EST Sunday, April 5th. 


HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO COMMIT?

The Challenge is a 48-hour sprint beginning on Friday afternoon (4/3) and ending on Sunday afternoon (4/5). Since the goal is to rapidly bring meaningful solutions to life, participants should expect to commit Friday evening, most of Saturday, and Sunday morning/early afternoon to the Challenge. Participants do not need to be available 24/7 for the duration of the event but should communicate their availability to team members.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE WEEKEND?

After the weekend, the best ideas and teams will have the opportunity to co-develop and implement their solution with the support of our partners.


WHAT DO WINNING TEAMS GET?

Winning teams will receive small monetary prizes, computing resources, organizational support and direct access to key partners to further develop, validate and implement solutions developed. 


WHO OWNS THE PRODUCT/SOLUTIONS TEAMS CREATE? 

In an effort to expedite the development and implementation of solutions developed in this event, all products and solutions developed in this event will be open source.

 

Participation 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE? 

We are seeking a diverse group of participants. Participants ages 13+ of all experience levels, professional and academic backgrounds, and skill sets are welcome; what matters most is your commitment to making an impact and your willingness to collaborate. 


DO I HAVE TO HAVE A TECHNICAL OR CLINICAL BACKGROUND TO PARTICIPATE? 

No! Participants of all academic and professional backgrounds are welcome! Technical or medical experience is always helpful, but it is not required. 


DO I HAVE TO BE AN MIT STUDENT OR MIT AFFILIATED TO PARTICIPATE? 

No! Participants do not need to be affiliated with MIT, just need to be eager to Beat the Pandemic! As above, technical or medical experience is always helpful, but it is not required. 


HOW DO I APPLY? 

Please complete the application form found here. Applications are due by April 1st at 6PM EST. If you are applying with a team, all team members must submit individual applications


HOW ARE APPLICATIONS EVALUATED?

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Emphasis will be placed on ensuring  a diversity of skill sets and demographics are represented among participants. You will receive an email from the MIT COVID19 Challenge team by April 1st with an update regarding your acceptance. 

 

HOW ARE TEAMS FORMED?

Participants will work together in teams of 5-7 members. If you already have a team in mind, you can indicate who you would like to work with when completing the participant application form (all team members must submit an individual application). Individuals are also invited to participate; we will form teams based on interest and experience. 


DO I NEED TO COME WITH AN IDEA?

The Challenge is focused on solving some of the most pressing problems that are resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Participants are encouraged to come with these problems in mind, but you don’t need to have an answer in hand. You’ll work with teams to develop solutions that will have a meaningful impact on the COVID-19 crisis. 


WHAT TOOLS/RESOURCES WILL BE PROVIDED? 

Teams will be connected with technical resources, data sets, developer platforms and experienced mentors throughout the weekend to help them create, iterate, build, and develop solutions as quickly as possible.  


Support 

HOW DO I BECOME A MENTOR? 

Please complete the application form found here


WHAT IS EXPECTED OF MENTORS?

Mentors will work with teams based on their experience and expertise. Mentors do not need to be available for the entire weekend. Once mentors have been accepted, they will select a 2-3 hour shift at a time that best accommodates their schedule. 


HOW DOES MY ORGANIZATION/COMPANY BECOME A PARTNER?

Thank you for your interest! Please email covid19challenge@mit.edu. A member of the organizing team will contact you to determine how your organization’s expertise, resources, and reach can be most effectively utilized as part of this effort. 


Miscellaneous

WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED? 

If you have additional questions or press inquiries, please email: covid19challenge@mit.edu