Published October 17, 2019
When a family member is in surgery, a lack of information turns into stress, anxiety and uncertainty for those in the waiting room.
The Journey project, developed by a team of UB students, aims to solve that — as well as give patients the power to evaluate medical conditions and get feedback from doctors — all from a smartphone.
Industry experts think it’s a winner. A panel from the technology and health care fields recently selected Journey as the best in show at D’Youville College’s Healthcare Hackathon, a competition that challenged area students to engage patients to improve their own health outcomes, demystify health technology to enhance patient experience and address barriers to access urban primary care.
For their win, team members received $15,000, along with other resources to assist in further developing their products.
“We wanted to contribute to an innovative idea that changes the health care industry,” says Megha Shirodkar, a School of Management student in the Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MS MIS) program. “Now we can start our company and implement our business plan to make a difference in society.”
Also on the winning team were UB students Suakshay Bahal, MS MIS; Ashley Levine, MD/MBA; Vito Galvez, computer science; Brian Quaranto, MD/engineering (biomedical engineering); and Colin Allen, a software engineering student at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Journey is a smartphone app with two parts. The first, TrackOR, lets patients and family know when surgery will start, when it’s finished and when the patient will be ready for pickup. It also allows them to follow the patient through each phase of recovery directly on their phone.
The second part of Journey, HealAR, puts families on the forefront of patient post-operative and wound care. Using augmented reality, the app can directly evaluate wounds and submit the information to doctors for feedback. This limits unnecessary office visits, saving patient and family time.
Shirodkar says the Healthcare Hackathon was a learning and inspiring experience for the whole team.
“People of all ages and ethnicity — students, doctors and professionals — shared their perspective and helped us brainstorm on a higher level,” she says. “We learned how to work together and develop solutions to a problem with greater efficiency and effectiveness.”