Beat the Pandemic II

Virtual Event May 29 - 31

— Challenge Prompts —

© Copyright 2020

 

— Frequently Asked Questions —

— Agenda —

Friday, May 29

7 PM - 8:30 PM: Kickoff Meeting

8:30 PM - 9:00 PM: Problem Pitching

9:00 PM Onwards: Team Formation


Saturday, May 30

10:00 AM: Finalized Teams Due

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: How-to-Pitch Webinar

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Practice Pitch Sessions


Sunday, May 31

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM: Practice Pitch Sessions

11:30 AM: Final Pitch Slides Due

1 PM - 3:00 PM: Final Pitch Presentations

3:00 PM - 4 PM: Judge Deliberations

4 PM - 5 PM: Award Ceremony 



General Information

WHAT IS THE MIT COVID-19 CHALLENGE? 

The MIT COVID-19 Challenge is a series of virtual hackathons. During these hackathons, 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 each event in the Challenge, selected teams will have the opportunity to bring their solutions to life with the support of our partners.  

What is Beat the Pandemic II

Beat the Pandemic II is our next event under the MIT COVID-19 Challenge series, taking place May 29-31, 2020. This event is a follow-on to our first Beat the Pandemic event, which occurred in early April.

In this 48-hour virtual event, we will help tackle the most critical unmet needs that have arisen now that we are several months into the COVID-19 outbreak. Participants will form teams on Friday, May 29th to home in on key problems and generate solutions, including proof of concepts, prototypes, and preliminary vision for execution. Throughout the weekend, teams will connect with mentors to refine their solutions. On Sunday, May 31st, teams will reconvene to present their work before a panel of expert judges. 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.

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 Friday, May 29th through Sunday, May 31st. More information about the schedule will be posted soon.  


HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO COMMIT?

The Challenge is a 48-hour sprint beginning on Friday afternoon (5/29) and ending on Sunday afternoon (5/31). 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 organizational support, computing resources, 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 May 27th at 12:00 PM (Noon) EST. If you are applying with a team, all team members must submit individual applications


WHEN WILL I HEAR BACK ABOUT MY APPLICATION?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and our review team will try its best to respond to applications within a few days of receiving them. The latest you should hear back by is the afternoon on Thursday, May 28.


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 with an update regarding your acceptance. 

 

HOW ARE TEAMS FORMED?

Participants will work together in teams of 5-7 members. We strongly encourage participants to apply individually, and form teams at the event - this event is not designed for pre-existing teams other than teams continuing from the previous Beat the Pandemic event. We will form teams based on interest and experience upon reviewing applications.


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 one or more 2-3 hour shifts that best accommodate 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

Applications are now closed - Thank you to all who applied!

— Apply —

Join us for Beat the Pandemic II, a 48-hour virtual hackathon aimed at addressing the most pressing issues arising from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This is a follow-on event to our first Beat the Pandemic event in early April. Apply via the links below!

  • Form teams on Friday, May 29th to home in on key problems and generate solutions
  • Throughout the weekend, connect with mentors from across the industry to refine your solutions. 
  • Present your solutions on Sunday, May 31st before a panel of expert judges. 
  • The best ideas and teams will have the opportunity to co-develop and implement their solution with the support of our partners.
  • Hear from keynote speaker Esther Dyson, and connect with many other industry leaders throughout the weekend


Check out the recap from Beat the Pandemic 1

Participant commitment hours: 

Broad availability for entire weekend of event (Evening May 29- late afternoon May 31)

Mentor commitment hours: 

One or more 3-hour time slots during weekend (May 30-31) to advise participant teams (register after acceptance)

All times in EST

Recovery and Reopening

As many areas move past peak infection rates, how can communities and organizations safely and effectively manage a return to a 'new' normal?


Track A. The New Surge: Treating Non-COVID Patients 

COVID-19 has not reduced the need for preventative medicine, annual checkups, heart attacks, strokes, and trauma.  As the capacity of our health systems continues to scale back from a focus on direct COVID-19 patient care, how do we reshift our attention to the new surge of patients seeking non-COVID related healthcare? How do we convince patients that it is safe to seek non-COVID care at our hospitals and clinics without fear of being infected by COVID-19? How do we continue to strike a balance between in-person visits and telemedicine? 

Track B. Well-Being: Adapting to the New Normal

COVID-19 has transformed and decreased our daily human social interactions with friends, family, classmates, and coworkers. The COVID-19 pandemic is increasing levels of stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and grief among members of our society.  How do we rebuild the social fabric of our lives while maintaining safety and public health recommendations?  How can we remain socially connected while taking necessary health precautions? What can be done to protect the emotional and mental well-being of our friends, colleagues, and families?  How do we achieve the balance between emotional, mental, and physical well-being? 

Track C. Growing up and Educating in the New Normal 

Schools and colleges have shuttered their physical doors and increased the role of remote education.  Parents have become teachers overnight, helping home school their children.  Students can no longer access the social and physical activities that contribute to their normal development.  Active learning, research labs, and experential education have come to a halt.  How do we do build solutions to 1) mitigate this paradigm shift, 2) decrease exacerbated disparities due to different learning and teaching styles, and 3) assist the social, physical, and emotional development of children and young adults? 

Track D. Healthcare Disparities: Protecting Vulnerable Populations  

The pandemic has exposed existing disparities with underrepresented populations disproportionally affected by COVID-19. Addressing the healthcare disparities is critical to COVID-19 response strategies. How do we build solutions to prevent new spread of disease among vulnerable populations (underrepresented minorities, immunocompromised or those with comorbidities, etc..)? How do we support populations that may be silenced - whether it is due to disability, domestic violence, limited English proficiency or poor health literacy? How do we mitigate healthcare system distrust and ensure equity in care access and delivery? 




Predict, Prevent, and Prepare

How can populations best arm themselves against a resurgence of infection? How can responses become quicker and more effective in the event of a second wave of COVID-19?


Track E. Surfacing and Communicating the COVID-19 Truth

We are being bombarded with information on COVID-19 from all sides.  Some information is reliable, while other information is either intentionally or unintentionally misleading and incorrect.  Information is constantly shared around social media, public media, governments, friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues.  How do we surface the best and most current information about COVID-19 on a global level: the virus, the disease, the management, and treatment?  How do we separate accurate, objective information from subjective and biased information? How do we then effectively and efficiently communicate this information to the public and between institutions?  

Track F. Testing: Improving the Tests, Expanding Access, and Sharing Results

As our communities begin to reopen, testing availabilty and administration have become central pillars of a safe path back to normal.  However, some areas lack adequate testing capacity, and others only have access to lower sensitivity and specificity tests.  Test results need to be rapidly and easily shared across organizations, businesses, and schools to faciliate safe reopening. How can we continue to improve the systems and technologies used for determining active COVID-19 infections as well as exposure/recovery from COVID-19?  How can we improve testing capacity, increase access to reliable testing, and improve data sharing of testing results?  

Track G. The New Hotspot: Nursing Homes & Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities currently account for more than 42% of all COVID-19 related fatalities in the United States. They have become the new hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks, placing an already vulnerable population at an even higher risk. How can we identify and develop affordable and effective solutions that address the challenges confronting nursing homes and assisted living residents and employees?  How can we better protect the residents, the healthcare workers, and their respective families from contracting and spreading COVID-19? 

 Track H. The Right Place at the Right Time: Medical Equipment and Supplies

COVID-19 disrupted the traditional supply chain, procurement, and distribution management systems of medical supplies and equipment. Emergency, ad-hoc systems were developed out of necessity, but in many cases this resulted in sub-standard supplies, overstock of supplies, and/or inaccurate inventory.  How can we improve resource distribution and reduce the inefficiencies caused by COVID-19? How do we effectively reallocate resources from areas of low need to areas of high need, either within a single hospital, health system, or community or across entire regions or countries?  

— Keynote Speakers —