Hack-A-Thon Results in Surgery Sponsorship in India

When thinking of “hackers,” one’s mind rarely jumps to the idea of life-saving cardiovascular surgery, but the ACC and Georgetown University recently partnered to combine the two. The College was a sponsor of Georgetown University’s intercollegiate hack-a-thon, Hoya Hacks. During the 36-hour event, held in November in Washington, DC, 350 participants worked tirelessly to build innovative software and hardware solutions in response to challenges posed by the ACC and other organizations.

The ACC-sponsored Health Care Track challenged participants to solve problems related to improving patient-clinician communication, tracking health status, improving medication adherence and streamlining care coordination. The winning team for the health care section received a life-sized heart model as their trophy for developing a solution motivating Fitbit users to surpass their fitness goals using virtual incentives. Steven A. Farmer, MD, FACC, and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, represented the ACC as judges for the competition.

On behalf of the winners, the ACC sponsored corrective cardiovascular surgeries for two young children, a five-year old and an 18-month old, through the department of pediatric and congenital heart surgery at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi, India. The sponsorships covered a Fontan conversion for one recipient and treatment for a ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis and mitral regurgitation for the other.

In January, ACC’s International Team traveled to India to meet with the families of the children receiving care, as well as the affiliated physicians, Parvathi U. Iyer, MD, and Krishna S. Iyer, MD, the husband and wife team performing the procedures. Participation in Hoya Hacks and the resulting sponsorships were made possible by collaboration between ACC’s Innovation and International Teams; these teams look forward to exploring future opportunities for successful collaboration.


Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Health Status, Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular, India, Medication Adherence, Mitral Valve Insufficiency, Pediatrics, Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

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