Students from the UPC, ESADE and IED jointly search for solutions to mental illness in Healthcare Solutions Hackathon


Image of the participants of the Healthcare Solutions Hackathon

A toothbrush to monitor the amount of lithium in the blood of people with bipolar disorder, a device to improve the follow-up of people with severe psychiatric disorders, or an application to help mitigate anxiety crises are some of the projects awarded at the Healthcare Solutions Hackathon, which has had the participation of students from the UPC, ESADE and IED Barcelona.

Dec 05, 2018

More than 50 students from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), ESADE and the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) competed during the weekend in the Healthcare Solutions Hackathon, organised by Fusion Point with the support of Accenture. The aim was to find the best solution to detect and treat mental illness. Participants in multidisciplinary teams used technological devices (such as a portable device for biomedical signal acquisition, a small microcontroller with sensors, tablets, and laptops) and advice from scholars and experts to develop their ideas. In less than 48 hours, participants made functional prototypes to detect and treat psychiatric symptoms (such as anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, and bipolar disorder) and made presentations to a panel of experts. The panel included academics from the three centres, as well as professionals from Accenture and Sanofi, and Dr Ignacio Crespo from the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge.

Among the winning projects was Lithbrush – a toothbrush that monitors the amount of lithium in the blood of people with bipolar disorder and helps determine if they are adhering to the recommended treatment; Metamorphosis, a device that includes a virtual assistant to improve the monitoring of people with severe psychiatric disorders and helps prevent suicides; and Enigma, an application that relieves crises in people with anxiety disorders.

Fusion Point: an innovation centre
The Healthcare Solutions Hackathon was held at Fusion Point on the Rambla of Innovation at the ESADE Sant Cugat campus. The hackathon served as a meeting point between companies and students studying management, engineering, and design. The event was organised by the UPC, ESADE and IED – and supported by Accenture as a digital innovation partner. Fusion Point is a laboratory that hosts activities in which companies present business and social challenges for students to resolve. The aim is to encourage teamwork and multidisciplinary solutions.