Hackathon Winner, 2015
As a part-time Medic, Firefighter, and pre-med student, I was acutely aware of many complex multi-stakeholder healthcare problems. Some are policy-bound, some are technology-bound. Many are both.

I knew I wanted to tackle the problem of getting the right care to the right patients are the right time, and there are entire patient populations in the USA where that remains difficult because of US policy governing healthcare interoperability, medical records, and social determinants of health.

We built not just a tech demo but the foundations for a legal and technological platform that would empower patients to access their medical records in formats that other practitioners (and their EMRs) can use and match patients to the best care providers for their condition.
My Contributions
I brought experience as a technologist and  healthcare provider. I'd been frustrated by a lot of  Emergency Room and fire house EMRs so poorly done that paper charting was actually preferable. This made me a natural fit to be the product person and engineer for the product team.

In short, I built a 3-tier Ruby on Rails web application with 3 major goals:

1. A care provider matching & rating system. I used the NPI database as a starting point, then built a yelp-like front-end, and used ElasticSearch on the backend.

2. A system to securely ingest & store medical records from different sources, where the patient can organize, browse, search, and own them.

3. A system to simplify medical record release forms, transfer medical records between providers, and verify successful receipt by using APIs, not industry standard fax machines.


This hackathon sparked an interest that would thread itself throughout the rest of my career. With the right mix of will, craftsmanship, and a lot of pushing, it's possible to build something with a greater area under the impact curve than being an individual practitioner. We used the prize money to move the project further. Healthcare interoperability would later prove to be a more thorny problem than we had imagined. Much of that is driven by what I call "misaligned incentives" among the many stakeholders between patient and doctor. This event showed me that others with more experience than I acknowledged the problem and validated our approach. Later, I would become involved with a startup called Medal and Harvard Medical School as they continue to push for life-saving changes to our healthcare system.