The application for MIT Boston Grand Hack 2019 is now closed.

Interested in partnering, supporting, or sponsoring our MIT Grand Hacks around the world? Find out more here about opportunities available or contact us here or by emailing us directly at

Interested in healthcare innovation?

Then this is the event for you!

Join MIT Hacking Medicine for one of the largest healthcare hackathons in the world! This is the weekend to brainstorm and build innovative solutions with hundreds of like-minded engineers, clinicians, designers, developers and business people. Within our four themes, there is sure to be a healthcare challenge for everyone!

Interested in helping out? You can partner with us, become a sponsor, or sign up to be a mentor! Email for more information.

Twitter Hashtag: #GrandHack2019

Watch and listen to the full video below from our latest MIT Grand Hack in Boston from April 2018!


Grand Hack Track_icon invert - cancer


We all know someone who has been touched by cancer – join MIT Hacking Medicine’s cancer track as we stand up to this condition and tackle problems across the patient care spectrum from the social stigma of hair loss to powering genomic driven clinical trial enrollment.  Spend the weekend stopping oncogenic drivers and boosting tumor suppressors with a passionate team of likeminded people seeking to make a dent in cancer.  This track will emphasize pain points within the lifecycle of the cancer patient journey & explore innovative ways to bring novel therapies to patients faster.
Grand Hack Track_icon invert - mental


Millions of Americans live with a mental health condition. Many of us have felt the impact–whether directly or indirectly–of depression, anxiety, OCD, substance use, personality disorders, loneliness or burnout. Join others in the mental health track to tackle the broad range of pain points surrounding this complex field. How can we better detect and more accurately diagnose mental health conditions? How can we ensure broader access to care, especially for vulnerable populations, and improve retention in treatment? How can we continue to de-stigmatize mental health conditions? How can our society better accommodate those who live with chronic mental health conditions?
Grand Hack Track_icon invert - surgical


Some patient and medical factors are highly correlated with successful outcomes for surgery. When the surgery is elective, patients may have some opportunities to optimize these factors and increase their likelihood of a successful outcome. Tools to drive behavior change have had mixed success. What opportunities are there using data in novel ways to realize the optimization (e.g., weight loss, smoking cessation, increased activity, to name just a few)? What are specific considerations and how might this solution be tailored for different populations, for example if the patient were your (a) grandparent, (b) parent, (c) child?
Grand Hack Track_icon invert - AT


Eliminate pain, rehabilitate injury, and optimize performance—assistive technology allows us to push the boundaries of human ability for people living with disabilities. Rehabilitation offers a path for patients to restore some or all of their physical, sensory, and mental capabilities that were once lost due to injury, illness, or disease. How can we improve upon this process to better patient outcomes? What technologies can we develop to assist them in their journey to recovery? This track will discover innovative approaches aimed at supporting a patient’s ability to maintain a high level of independence by improving function and quality of life. 


The track prizes under each of the tracks (Cancer, Mental Health, Optimizing Surgical Outcomes, and Assistive Technologies & Rehabilitation) will take into account the challenges placed forward by our strategic partners and sponsors listed below.  Part of the judging panels will be made up of subject matter experts from our strategic partners and sponsors.  The track prizes will be awarded to the best teams based on the addressing the challenges within the four tracks above!


Anne Deconinck is the Executive Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research (KI) at MIT. She leads the KI’s communications, outreach efforts, and industry and academic partnerships. Anne received her B.Sc. from King’s College London and her D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. She received a Fulbright to pursue her postdoc at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2003, Anne came to MIT to help lead the design, implementation, and launch of the KI.
Adam Pardes is an evidence-based entrepreneur, public speaker, and scientific researcher with extensive experience in academic settings and leading SaaS-based product growth. Adam has maintained a research-focused approach to leveraging digital technologies to enhance the access, delivery, and effectiveness of mental healthcare, particularly for vulnerable populations including Veterans, children, and Medicare/Medicaid members. Adam was  awarded an STTR for NeuroFlow with the Philadelphia VA.
Paul Grabscheid is the Vice President for Strategic Planning at InterSystems Corporation. Since 1986, Paul Grabscheid has used his expertise in database and application development tools and technologies in a variety of product planning and marketing roles at InterSystems. Prior to that, he served as director of marketing for Mathematica helping to expand the company’s worldwide presence. Grabscheid holds a Master’s from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mukund Paravasthu is the Vice President of Digital Solutions for Johnson & Johnson’s medical device sector.  He and his team are focused on developing an integrated approach to digital surgery to improve outcomes and patient experience. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Advanced R&D for Depuy Synthes, focused on cross  platform innovation within J&J Orthopedics.  From 2013-16, he was Head of R&D for the Sports Medicine business at J&J.  Mukund has a bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical Engineering.
Suzanne Shirley serves as a national Fellow with the VHA Innovation Ecosystem as the Entrepreneur in Residence.  She works to expand VHA’s partnerships with academic affiliates to promote design-thinking in solving Veteran challenges.  She works to empower and mentor medical centers to provide innovative clinical care to Veterans.  Ms. Shirley received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Montana State University and her Master’s in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Dr. David Rhew is the Chief Medical Officer and VP & GM of Enterprise Healthcare for Samsung Electronics of America. He is the Chairman of the Health and Fitness Technology Division for the Consumer Technology Association. Dr. Rhew received his Bachelors in computer science and cellular molecular biology from University of Michigan. He received his MD from Northwestern, internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai, and fellowships at Cedars-Sinai and infectious disease at UCLA.
Hamzeh S. Abdul-Hadi is a Senior Associate at Hikma Ventures. Hamzeh joined Hikma Ventures in August 2016 and was involved at different stages from Seed to Series C in Telemedicine, Innovative Drug Delivery Systems, Adherence/Compliance Tools and Devices, AI Predictive Analytics Software, and Digital Therapeutics. Before Hikma, Hamzeh worked at Philip Morris International.  Hamzeh holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the George Washington University.
Deena Fawzy is Corporate Digital Manager at Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC. Deena joined Hikma in 2013 where she worked in various departments including cardiovascular and diabetes brand management, digital marketing and consumer healthcare. Prior to Hikma, Deena worked across different industries with a focus on digital technologies. Deena manages corporate digital projects for Hikma. Deena holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.


Digital HealthConsider the ways we can improve clinical care with the use of digital tools and data analytics.  With new innovative technologies, how might we provide better, more efficient care at the bedside and through administrative systems, to improve patient safety, efficiency, access to care and reduce costs.
Whole HealthThe human body and mind have tremendous healing abilities. Traditionally, we have focused on what’s the matter, zeroing in on the disease. Let’s turn the conversation to what matters most.  How might the VA get to know patients better and design care based on what matters most to Veterans?
High Reliability Health CareReimagine the ways we offer healthcare to large diverse populations.  We care for people in acute hospital settings, at home, in rural outpatient clinics and in the center of thriving urban cities.  How might we improve the ways we offer effective, consistent and reliable care to our patients?
Hikma Logo_cmyk
Preventative Medicine:  With increasing knowledge of genetics, nutrition, environmental variables, mental and physical fitness – what tools can be provided to provide personalized prevention plans to improve overall health to decrease overall costs and reduce reliance on pharmaceutical intervention?
Treatment Affordability: With patients now dealing with high drug costs, payer/PBM formularies, multiple copay options, and HCPs that take patient finances into account – what tools can be created to provide patients with personalized pricing information and therapies.
Personalized Dosages: Presentations and strengths of older drugs were initially based on typical subjects, environments and practices from years ago. Today, these drugs are administered in varying dosages forcing doctors to customize doses ad hoc to tailor meds to patients with varying BMIs and drug metabolisms.
InterSystems Logo
For over 40 years, InterSystems has been at the heart of the healthcare information ecosystem. Today, the health data of more than 500 million people worldwide is managed using InterSystems technology. Health information is who we are.  Healthcare is changing rapidly, driven by new technologies, including artificial intelligence and consumer devices, and by new models of care and financing. The goal is the same everywhere: to create a smarter, more sustainable health and care system for the future. We believe the future depends on the right foundation: connected health and care organizations, and decisions based on meaningful, comprehensive health data. At this year’s Hack, we look forward to helping you turn ideas into action as you create the future of care.
Optimizing patients for better surgical outcomes
Some patient and medical factors are highly correlated with successful outcomes for surgery. When the surgery is elective, patients may have some opportunities to optimize these factors and increase their likelihood of a successful outcome. Tools to drive behavior change have had mixed success. What opportunities are there using data in novel ways to realize the optimization (e.g., weight loss, smoking cessation, increased activity, to name just a few)? What are specific considerations and how might this solution be tailored for different populations, for example if the patient were your (a) grandparent, (b) parent, (c) child?

Special prizes

Optum Logo

$500 Optum Prize

4 total - 1 per track

Optum is a leading health services innovation company that is helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. Our aspiration is to improve experiences and outcomes for everyone we serve while reducing the total cost of care. The prize will be awarded for the idea that best improves experiences and outcomes for a specific market group/demographic within the healthcare system, helps reduce total cost of care, and supports people living healthier lives
Eligible Tracks: #Cancer, #MentalHealth, #SurgicalOutcomes, #AssistiveTech & #Rehabilitation
Atrius Health Logo

$500 Atrius Health Award for the Advancement of World Class, Value-Based, Ambulatory Care

Atrius Health is a primary care based, multi-specialty delivery system with over 1100 clinicians serving over 700,000 patients across eastern Massachusetts.  We are a national leader in population health management and value based care with a vision of transforming care to improve lives.
This prize will be awarded to a team that advances patient centered cancer care in the outpatient or home based environment.
Eligible Tracks: #Cancer

$1,000 AAPM Prize for Best Assistive Tech & Rehab Hack to Improve Lives of Patients with Chronic Pain

More than 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, making pain more prevalent than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) is proud to sponsor a $1,000 Challenge Prize that will be awarded the 2019 MIT Grand Hack team presenting the assistive technology and rehabilitation hack with the most potential to improve the function, quality of life, and/or treatment for patients with chronic pain.
Eligible Tracks: #AssistiveTech & #Rehabilitation
InterSystems Logo

$1000 InterSystems
Challenge Prize

InterSystems is offering a prize of $1000 for the best use of InterSystems IRIS for Health Technology. All tracks, participants, and teams are eligible for this special prize.
Eligible Tracks: #Cancer, #MentalHealth, #SurgicalOutcomes, #AssistiveTech & #Rehabilitation

Samsung Breakthroughs
that Matter award

The Samsung Breakthroughs that Matter award will be presented to three MIT Grand Hack teams that most effectively embrace Samsung technology to create transformative digital health solutions with the potential to help the VA solve their toughest challenges. The goal of this award is to cultivate a cadre of innovative development teams that put forward compelling applications in areas such as remote patient monitoring, telehealth, and clinician workflow efficiency toimprove access to, and quality of, care for our nation’s veterans
Eligible Tracks: #Cancer, #MentalHealth, #AssistiveTech & #Rehabilitation

MIT Sandbox Prize
$5,000 + Program Entry

An award for $5,000 to the team with an innovative technology and program participation through the summer of 2019.  Program participation includes access to mentors and experts throughout the summer.  The team must include at least one MIT student.
Eligible Tracks: #Cancer, #MentalHealth, #SurgicalOutcomes, #AssistiveTech & #Rehabilitation

May 3rd - 5th, 2019

MIT Media Lab




InterSystems Logo
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Prizes, In-Kind, and Media Sponsors

Optum Logo
Atrius Health Logo
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linQ-idea2 black


Schedule subject to change. Check back regularly for more details!