Sunday, February 21, 2016

My Experience at MHacks

MHacks is a hackathon at the University of Michigan. My company was a sponsor of the event this year, along with larger, more well known companies like Intel, Target and Disney.

I got to participate as a mentor, which basically means that project teams that are looking for technical guidance seek out mentors for assistance.

My specialty is Healthcare IT. There were two project teams that I had the pleasure of working with.

The first was a simple series of web baesd forms that asked some lifestyle questions and asked for the person's height and weight to calculate and display their body mass index (BMI). The actual calculation of BMI would be done in javascript on the web page. It has been over a decade since I did any web based programming, so I sent this team off to find some web based developers to get the syntax right.

The second team was more ambitious. They wanted to have web forms/apps that allowed a patient to update their demographic information and to schedule a visit with a doctor. I outlined the basic standards that support these data exchanges and then showed them the FHIR resources that were available to support this exchange. There are a couple of test servers out there that you can exchange with and they were going to use those as the back end for their app. I told them to emphasize that their solution was "standards based."

All in all, it was a very cool experience to see so many young people who are enthusiastic about technology.

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