On April the 12th, my friend and partner mentioned there was a 24 hour Code-a-thon in Blacksburg and that I should go check it out. At first I was wasn’t sure but figured it would be cool to see what problems the healthcare industry was struggling with.
The event drew over 75 physicians, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, students and enthusiasts that wanted to change the world and improve healthcare – all during an intense 24 hours of hacking, developing, innovating and creating…and a lot of pizza. The event culminated in a judging session by Aneesh Copra (previous White House CTO), Matt Holt of Healthcare 2.0 and a representative from CIT (Center for innovative technologies). The top team was awarded $2,500 cash. The next five teams will each receive $500 cash.
I had originally wanted to just listen to the presentations by the Healthcare industry and then head over to my kids soccer games. When Bob Summers called me out to share my idea, I literally formulated the idea between my seat and the podium. I did not expect anyone to join my team.
Before I realized, 4 other developers joined my team. The idea, LivingOrgans, aimed to solve the kidney donor deficit, reduce the cost of patients on dialysis, and increase the number of people receiving kidneys from live donors. My inspiration came from friends who have struggled with kidney problems and the inefficiencies of kidney matching.
At 5pm the next day, we had the chance to present the idea and app we developed. Utilizing a unique algorithm that matched pairs of donor/recipients and created pairs of these nodes and closes the loop so everyone within that loop gets a kidney.
The team was made up of John Kurlick, David Lehn, Jason Riddle, Virquan harold and I. Despite the hiccup we had at the start of the presentation, we came back strong by showing off what we accomplished and answered the questions the panel had.
Although I did not sleep for over 40 hours, getting a runner up prize and knowing we were able to start solving a complex problem was definitely worth it.
Lessons one can learn from this video:
1. Be positive
2. Be creative
4. Have fun
5. Use what you have
6. Spend time with family
7. Wait for Mr. Luck to show up…and take advantage of social media
This put such a big smile on my face it’s unbelievable. I would hire this guy in a heartbeat!