U-M School of Nursing student-led hackathon awards $7,250 in financial support for innovation in health care

The inaugural Innovate 4 Change hackathon, the University of Michigan’s first hackathon hosted by nursing students, concluded on October 24 with five interdisciplinary student teams being awarded a total of $7,250 in financial support to move their innovation projects forward. The five project teams that were awarded financial support by a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation were:

  • Vaccine Passport – Johnson & Johnson Physical and Psychological Safety of Nurses Award
  • Mother Nurture – Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Award
  • The OctiPulse Regulator – Sigma Theta Tau, Rho Chapter Global Health Award
  • Recycling Gloves – Rita & Alex Hillman Environmental Sustainability Award
  • Story Ride – Audience Choice award sponsored by the Michigan Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists & Nurse Approved

In total, seven teams ranging in size from two to seven participants joined in the pitch event representing nursing, engineering, public health, dentistry, information science, data science, health informatics and business. Each team had five to seven minutes to present a compelling case for their ideas that covered topics such as vaccine verification, supporting new mothers, addressing postpartum hemorrhage, recycling health care waste, safer ways to transport patients and transportation for the elderly.

The interdisciplinary teams representing undergraduate and graduate students worked together with coaches from U-M-Ann Arbor and U-M-Flint for five weeks to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, research alternatives and eventually develop an innovative idea that they pitched to a panel of five judges and a virtual and in-person audience of peers, donors and supporters. For nearly 70% of the student participants, the hackathon and pitch competition was a new experience they had not previously engaged in.

The event was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau – Rho Chapter, Michigan Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Nurse Approved, the Office of Innovation Partnerships and the U-M School of Nursing We Dare Challenge.