NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has shelled out $85,000 in awards to software development teams that spent the March 15-16 weekend coming up with new ideas for the hospital’s patient portal.

The hospital held a “Hackathon” this past weekend and Helen Kotchoubey, director of IT for patient engagement, recently talked to Health Data Management about its idea to explain to developers some general areas of improvement that were desired, but let the developers come up with solutions. Seventeen teams showed up and three won.

First place ($50,000 prize): Team name: Health Warriors. Application name: "PresbyHangouts." The winning platform accesses the hospital's current portal to allow inpatients to connect with other patients with common interests, allowing them to play games together and communicate through instant messaging and video chat. It aims to build patient community and provide a vehicle to deliver educational material through video chat. Team members were Hannah Oppenheimer of Brooklyn; Michael Wenger of Hoboken, N.J.; Andrea Cremese of Brooklyn; Eric Chen of Manhattan; and Dan Firepine, an emergency room physician from Berkeley, Calif.

Second place ($25,000 prize): Team name: Bogney. Application name: "Intermed." This two-man team aimed to address the isolation and anxiety many patients face while in the hospital by creating an app that allows patients to connect with other patients and "mentors" based on interests or condition, connect with friends and family through social networks and access tools that promote relaxation and meditation, such as calming music. Team members were Stanislav Bogdanov and John Kinney, both of Long Island, N.Y.  

Third place ($10,000 prize): Team name: Some Team. Application name: "Presbyterian Plus." Shahnar and Fahm Sikder, two brothers from Queens, N.Y., aimed to improve the patient experience by developing a platform that streamlines the appointment check-in process and provides a patient support and reward system for healthy activities, such as scheduling and showing up for doctor appointments, and keeping track of medication schedules.

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