2014 HTF Code-a-thon, May 10th – May 11, 2014

Home / 2014 HTF Code-a-thon, May 10th – May 11, 2014


Patient Engagement in Behavioral Health – Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

This year’s HTF Code-a-thon event presents a special opportunity for innovators in the mental health space to create solutions and sharpen their skills. Participant teams will come together to generate ideas and crunch code, then pitch their prototypes to judges and peers.

Nearly 19% of Americans suffer from some sort of mental illness; emergency room visits for mental health or substance abuse issues have increased significantly in the past several years.  The Code-a-thon offers groups of hackers, health professionals and researchers an exciting environment to design new approaches that engage and empower patients in the recovery process.

With 250 RSVPs (team building reception and code-a-thon), 11 teams, 9 judges, 14 speakers, 10 mentors, and 30 organizers and volunteers the code-a-thon was a great success and we want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions. The weekend long challenge is being followed by a presentation panel of the winning solutions at the HTF Innovation Conference Pathways to Sustainable Health.




Overall Mental Health Care General and Specific challenges

General Specific
Poor integration/communication among health care providers (e.g., primary care clinicians and behaviorists, organizations) Limited quantified evaluation methodologies to diagnose
Medication/treatment adherence Lack of standard protocols in treating patients
Low levels of literacy Limited/lack of treatmentefficiency quality-control
Loss of patient’s motivation and disconnection between visits Lack of social support for isolated patients
Uninsured/underinsured patient populations with the most acute needs Societal perceptions towards mental illness that continue to persist towards mental illness
Shrinking Medicaid funding Uneven adoption of evidence-based therapies
No standard documentation protocol


San Francisco General Hospital Case Study : Acute Care Support

SFGH case study

Within the Psychiatric Emergency Services, there are severe limitations for clinicians when obtaining a comprehensive history from the patient. Patient history is often inaccurate due to the decompensated psychiatric state of the patient. It is also very difficult and time-intensive for clinicians to get a comprehensive view of a patients mental health history, the physician needs to access three separate databases and read through unstructured data to ascertain a recent history. As this complete medical record only exists in the chart, two different disciplines can’t use it at the same time, causing severe workflow backup.


Challenges of Integrated Care Model

Collaboration of Primary Care Physician  with behavioral health professionals (e.g. nurse or social worker).

1. Patient completes a behavioral assessment (e.g., includes depression, anxiety assessment);

­THE CHALLENGE: low literacy patients. Cognitive impairment due to age or condition.

2. Assessment is forwarded to primary care doctor, and patient is introduced to the behaviorist.

­THE CHALLENGE: this process is influenced by many factors(e.g., poor communication with patient, limited bandwidth of behaviorist).

3. Patient sees the behaviorist for a first visit, to understand the intervention process

­THE CHALLENGE: Even though behaviorists undergo training for this session, there is significant variability in the offered clinical quality-re-training is often needed.

4. Follow up sessions focus on either (1) giving a brief treatment (2) medication management (not prescription, just checking in on adherence) and (3) facilitating a referral if needed

­THE CHALLENGE: to make sure that the clinicians are actually deploying the practices and utilizing access to experts/psychiatrists to address complex scenarios.

Common complaints by behaviorists:

(1) the treatments offered in primary care are not sufficiently good enough for patients; (2) managing complex cases is too hard in 30 minutes; (3) too much paperwork; (4) not enough expert support.



Code-a-thon specific survey results, API’s, Datasets. Please visit :  http://patientengagementforhealth.wordpress.com

Mental Health Care in California : Painting a Picture : This report by the California Health Care Foundation provides an overview of mental health in California: disease prevalence, suicide rates, the state’s care delivery system, supply and use of treatment providers, and access to care. The report also highlights available quality data and the most recent data on national mental health care spending. Download the report here.

A Complex Case : Public Mental Health Delivery and Financing in California: This report by the California Health Care Foundation provides an overview of how California’s public mental health system services are financed, administered, and delivered. It is offered as background to inform policy discussions about how public mental health services fit within California’s overall public health care system.  Download the report here.




1. Conceptual Design Approach (25%):

Ability to articulate targeted pain point(s) around problem space and how conceptual designs address these

  1. Clearly defined use case that matches articulated pain points for problem space.
  2. Use case scenario matches problem definition and proposed solution
  3. How well did the team address the healthcare practitioner’s pain points in providing care to these patients?
  4. How well did the team address the patient’s problem?

2. Implementation Feasibility (25%):

  1. Feasibility of implementation with the San Francisco Department of Public Health
  2. Business model/scalability/distribution

3. Technical Feasibility (25%)

  1. Solution provided is technically sound
  2. Plans for a Beta version are clearly laid out

4. Creativity and newness of the Idea (10%):

The creativeness of bringing patients and providers closer to create better interactions at the diagnosis stage and ensure engagement in treatment and management phase.

5. Prototype development stage and Presentation (10%):

  1. Specific delivery and efforts put in place in the two days of the codeathon.
  2. Presentation

6. Utilization of surveys, datasets and resources provided (5%):The creative utilization of various APIs, data sets and validated questionnaires to create the innovative solution will be considered in the evaluation.


  • Nancy Hall, Chief Innovation Officer, HIT
  • Jan Gurley, MD; Writer, Speaker, Health Technology advisor from big data to mobile applications.
  • Dennis Israelski, MD; Public Health Advisor
  • George Su, MD; Assistant Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Justin Graham, MD; Chief Innovation Officer, Healthcare at Hearst Business Media
  • Opinder Bawa, VP & CIO at University of San Francisco
  • Shervin Majd, Senior mHealth Partner at Vodafone
  • Patricia Salber, MD- CEO, Health Tech Hatch
  • Doug Trauner, Co-Chair mHealth Task Force, FCC



1st Place Winners: Only One
Prize: $4000 (Phase 1) & $11000 during Incubation at SFGH (Phase 2)
Raj Manickam, Deepesh Kuruppath, Julie Price, Rhonda Shrader, Jean-Ezra Yeung
Conceived and developed entirely during the Code-a-thon, Only One is a fun, functioning mobile app to pre-screen adolescents for depression/anxiety. Screening is required under the Affordable Care Act, but can get overlooked because of time/cost constraints.  Now, teens can use their own words to respond to scenarios mapping directly to a widely-used, validated manual screening tool (PHQ-9).  The app uses natural language processing to score responses and provide an instant flag to pediatricians (email, portal or QR code) so that precious time during annual wellness visits is maximized.

2nd Place Winners: Living Mentally Well  
Prize: $2500
Kevin Hines, Arthur Klein, Ryan Prince, Jacob Savage, Doug Marks
LIVING MENTALLY WELL the APP offer’s early detection, hope, and help toward recovery. The objective is to avoid high cost crisis situations. The Living Mentally Well APP provides the functionality for the user to easily access self-awareness tools, a ten step mentally healthy regimen, and an automated text message reach out feature which would allow the user to update their personal network. The user can gain help through their support network with one touch of a button; safely and privately.

3rd Place Winners: Happy Friends
Prize: $1100
Jean Rintoul, Angelo Hizon, Vincent Fang, Dickson Tam, Deborah Paterson
Happy Friends is gamified emotional intelligence for autistic kids. Imagine being able to break down the wall between the autistic child and the caretaker allowing happier relationships for all involved. Happy Friends leverages innovations in wearable biosensors with our custom engineered game to enable communication with the autistic child. We collect analytics on the child’s preferences opening up new levels to your relationship with your child

4th Place Winners & Honorable Mention for Best Pitch: Care Connect
Prize: $ 500 + $ 300
Ranjana Saxena, Rajeev Saxena, Rohan Saxena
CareConnect is a Mobile Patient Portal with engagement tools chat, audio/video messages and live conferencing. It allows for effective screening , cost-effective treatment action and  follow up for compliance through customized notifications and reminders.

Honorable Mention for serving a vulnerable population: CareByte
Jenny Liu
Prize: $300
Proposed a care coordination platform that licenses relational agents (developed at the MIT Media Lab) for use in a mobile app to engage and coach patients in medication adherence and monitor them remotely.  The data collected and analyzed in reports provided on a subscription basis can empower providers, insurers and biopharma to respond effectively.

Honorable Mention for Best Inspiration: MoodLearner
Prize: $300
Judith Mayer
A personalized exercise routine based on geo-location.

Honorable Mention for most Inspirational and Aspirational : Dance4Healing
Non-monetary prize
Amy Li
Dance4Healing: using AI, behavior design, and gamification to build a community to unleash the healing power of music and dance. Inspired by Amy’s personal cancer journey against stage 4 cancer.





By entering this code-a-thon (the “Competition”), you agree that your participation will be governed by, and you shall abide by, all of the following terms and conditions (the “Terms and Conditions”) outlined herein below:

1. Mission: The goal of the Competition is to design and prototype an app that supports the collection and communication of health care data about key diseases and behaviors.

2. Eligibility: The Competition is open only to individuals who are 13 years of age or older as of the date of entry and who are legal residents of one of the fifty (50) states of the United States or the District of Columbia or the U.S. Territories or have current student or work US Visas. Any entrant from the age of 13-18 must get parental consent to enter the Competition. They must bring a completed Parental Consent Form to the event. The following are not eligible to enter or win the Competition: employees, officers, directors and contractors of the Sponsors and/or any member of their immediate family (i.e., a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild) or household of any of the foregoing individuals.

3. Entries by Teams: Entries may be submitted either by individuals or by groups of individuals (each a “Team”). If an entry will be submitted by a Team, each member of the Team must satisfy the eligibility requirements set forth in Paragraph 2 above. Each Team must designate a single member of the Team who will serve as the Team’s sole representative for communications and all other purposes in connection with the Competition (the “Team Leader”). All agreements, consents, representations and warranties made or given by a Team Leader herein or otherwise in connection with the Competition will be binding upon all members of the pertinent Team as if made by each such member. A team form will be provided to collect Team name, lead/co-lead, and Team members. HTF will collect these forms by the end of the day one of the Competition.

4. Competition Period: The entry period for the Competition begins at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) on May 10, 2014, 2014 and ends at 3:00 p.m. PDT on May 11, 2014 (the “Entry Period”).

5. How to Register: Registration and Participation is FREE. Register is closed.

6. Competition Guidelines: At the competition, each individual or Team that submits a Submission (each an “Applicant”) must retain a copy of the Submission. Sponsors are not responsible for, and each Applicant specifically releases Sponsors from any claims or liability relating to, any loss or damage to the Applicant’s Submission.

All Submissions must comply with the following Content Restrictions:

The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity, copyright, trademark, patent, or intellectual property- or property- related rights. The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, defamatory, slanderous or libelous; The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age. The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where Submission is created.

By entering, each Applicant represents and warrants that (a) the Applicant’s Submission and all components thereof, including all ideas, creative elements and any other materials and information contained in the Submission are wholly original with the Applicant, (b) no person or entity has collaborated with Applicant in creating the Submission, provided any material or information for inclusion in the Submission, or has any ownership rights in and to the Submission or any component thereof (note: an Applicant that is a Team warrants and represents that no person who is not a Team member collaborated with the Applicant, provided any material or information, or has any ownership rights in and to the Submission), (c) Applicant has the exclusive, unconditional right and authority to submit the Submission and to grant the rights set forth herein, and (d) the Applicant’s Submission complies with these Official Rules in full. Submissions must not contain any material that Sponsors, in their sole discretion, deem inappropriate for public viewing and/or determine is contrary to its mission or reputation. Sponsors reserve the right in their discretion to disqualify and/or not accept any Submission that Sponsors determine does not or is likely not to comply with these guidelines, to make such changes to any Submission as are necessary to make it compliant, or to require the Applicant to do so.

7. Judging: Judging of the Competition will proceed as follows: a panel of judges comprised of Sponsors and industry leaders and consultants will review all Submissions to identify those that are complete and otherwise appear preliminarily to satisfy the entry requirements set forth herein. Submissions which appear complete and satisfy the entry requirements will be judged based on the Judging Criteria. These entrants will be deemed qualified (“Qualified Entrant”). A jury of judges comprised both of Sponsors’ designees and industry leaders selected by Sponsors will score all submissions that qualified based on the Judging Criteria. Decisions of the judges are final and may not be objected to or challenged by Applicants.

8. Winner Notification and Verification for the Competition: Sponsors will notify the potential Winners on the day of the Competition. In order to qualify as a Winner, each Applicant (a) must be available in attendance at the Competition, (b) must present to the Panelists at the competition (and in the event of a Team, at least one member of the Team must be so available), and (c) must agree that if selected as a Winner, the Applicant will incubate its Submission (in order to develop clinical work-flow, regulatory protocols, test-results, usability, design effectiveness and methodologies, etc.) at a facility or location affiliated with and selected by the Sponsors, such as the San Francisco Department of Public Health Innovation HUB, or at an alternate location with the express prior written consent of the Sponsors, for a period of no less than twelve months.

9. Awards: (a) All income taxes and any other applicable taxes on each award are the sole responsibility of the recipient. An IRS form 1099 will be issued, if required by law. Awards consist only of items expressly specified herein. Any costs or expenses associated with the acceptance or use of any award (including, without limitation, additional transportation, meals, gratuities and incidentals) are the responsibility of the recipient. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of right to receive any award will be allowed, except at sole discretion of Sponsors. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute an alternate award. (b) The total monetary awards consist of up to US $20,000.00, awarded in the form of checks or another payment method selected by Sponsors. All awards are and shall remain at discretion of the Sponsors and may be revised or withdrawn at any time, without notice, prior to commencement of the Competition. In the event that the Award Winner is a Team, the Team Leader shall receive and be solely responsible for the Award on behalf of the Team unless all members of the participating team agree to distribution of funds to each individual member separately. Sponsors will have no responsibility for allocation of funds received as part of the Award among Team members. The first place Winner shall receive his/her/its prize money over a phased-in schedule: 25% awarded on May 20, 2014 at the HTF San Francisco conference, 25% after the first week of HUB incubation, 25% after three months’ HUB incubation, and the final 25% after successful completion of the full six-month HUB program.

10. Grant of Rights: By entering, each Applicant grants to Sponsors and their designees the irrevocable, royalty-free right to publish, disseminate and use the Applicant’s name, likeness and biographical information (and in the event of a Team, the name, likeness and biographical information each member of said Team) without further notice or consid­eration, in perpetuity, throughout the world, in all media and formats now known or hereafter invented, in connection with the execution and promotion of the Competition and the promotion of Sponsors and its activities.

In addition, by entering, each Applicant grants to Sponsors and their designees a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, exploit, adapt, use and display worldwide, in perpetuity, throughout the world, in all media and formats now known or hereafter invented, information about the Submission and the Project and all non-proprietary components thereof, including without limitation posting information about the Submission and/or the Project on the Site (or such other Sponsor designated on-line environment), in connection with the execution and promotion of the Competition and the promotion of Sponsors and their activities, without further notice or compensation.

Neither Health Technology Forum nor the code-a-thon Sponsor shall be responsible for mediating disputes that may arise relating to intellectual property ownership. Notwith­standing the foregoing, each Applicant agrees, as a condition of submitting a Submission, that each Sponsoring hospital shall be granted a fully paid-up, irrevocable and non-transferable license to use the product/services etc., where the HUB must be willing to be a reference account included in a Winning Submission.

11. Equity Grant: Each Applicant agrees, as a condition of submitting a Submission, that Health Technology Forum Corp. shall be issued an option to purchase up to 2% of Applicant’s common stock or membership units, as applicable, at a price no greater than fair market value as of the date of the Competition, on terms generally applicable to technology start-up ventures, in the event the Applicant is selected as a Winner. HTF shall provide the Winning Teams with demo opportunities at its May 20, 2014 San Francisco conference, marketing exposure in connection therewith, HUB facilitation and project management services, strategic advice and introductions to potential partners, financiers and funding sources.

12. Disputes: These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of California without regard to conflicts of laws provisions. Applicant hereby agrees that any and all disputes claims, causes of action or controversies arising out of or in connection with the Competition or these Terms and Conditions shall be resolved individually, and without resort to class action, exclusively by a state or federal court located in San Francisco, California. By entering, each Applicant irrevocably waives any right to seek and/or obtain rescission, equitable and/or injunctive relief.

13. Representations & Warranties: Applicant represents and warrants that he/she: (a) has the right to make a Submission as contemplated here under without the need of any consent of any third party; (b) will abide by these Terms and Conditions and all applicable laws and regulations; (c) if Applicant is a Team Leader, that Applicant has the full right and authority to make the Submission and to agree to accept and abide by these Terms and Conditions on behalf of the Team, and that each Team member will abide by these Terms and Conditions; and (d) Applicant is under no obligation or disability, created by law or otherwise, which would in any manner or to any extent prevent or restrict making a Submission or becoming a Winner.

14. Indemnity: By submitting an entry, each Applicant (including each Team member, with respect to Applicants who are Teams) agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and defend sponsors, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns, and each of their trustees, officers, employees and agents (all of the foregoing, the “Sponsor Parties”), from and against the full amount of all claims, liabilities, actions, suits, proceedings, assessments, judgments, decrees, losses, fees, damages, settlement funds, and associated costs and expenses including attorney’s fees arising from or in connection with the Applicant’s participation, any use by Sponsors Parties of the Applicant’s Submission and/or the exercise by Sponsor of any rights granted to it herein, including without limitation claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, defamation, copyright, patent and/or trademark infringement relating to the Applicant’s Submission. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in the event of any claim by a third party affecting or relating to the Submission, Sponsors shall have, in addition to any other rights available to it, at law or in equity, the right to immediately revoke any award. Sponsor Parties may include, without limitation, the California HealthCare Foundation.


16. Release of Claims: By submitting an entry, each Applicant (including each Team member, with respect to Applicants who are Teams) releases each of the Sponsor Parties from and against the full amount of all claims, liabilities, actions, suits, proceedings, assessments, judgments, decrees, losses, fees, damages, settlement funds, and associated costs and expenses including attorney’s fees arising from or in connection with the Applicant’s participation in this competition, any use by Sponsors of the Applicant’s Submission and/or the exercise by Sponsors of any rights granted to it herein, including without limitation claims based on rights of privacy, rights of publicity, false light, defamation, copyright, patent and/or trademark infringement relating to the Applicant’s Submission and claims for injury, loss or damage of any kind resulting from the Applicant’s participation in this competition or acceptance or use of any award.

17. Limitation on Exploitation of Materials: Each Applicant acknowledges that each of the Sponsor Parties may have engaged and continue to engage in the development, production, acquisition and dissemination of materials that may be similar or identical to the Applicant’s Project or Submission. The Sponsor Parties may use information about the Applicant’s Project or Submission in whole or in part, without any payment or other obligation whatsoever to the Applicant, if the Applicant’s Project or Submission (a) is not unique, novel, original, and concrete so as to be entitled to protection under applicable laws, (b) has been made public by anyone at the time of its submission to Sponsors or otherwise is in the public domain, (c) would be freely usable by a third person if it had not been accepted as a Submission, or (d) is similar or identical to, or contains significant elements encompassed in, an idea, concept or material that has been independently created by either Sponsor or any third party. Acceptance by Sponsors of a Submission is not an admission by Sponsors of the novelty or originality of the Submission.

18. General Terms: All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Sponsors reserve the right at their sole discretion to disqualify any individual who violates these Terms and Conditions, tampers with the entry process or acts in a way that would, in any way, discredit or harm the reputation of Sponsors. Sponsors may cancel, modify or suspend this competition should entrant fraud or misconduct or other causes beyond the control of Sponsors corrupt the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the competition. Without limitation of the foregoing, Sponsors reserve the right to terminate, modify or suspend this competition due to any of the following reasons: act of God; unavoidable accident; epidemic; fire; blackout; act of public enemy; war, riot or civil commotion; enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal; strike, lockout or other labor dispute; inclement weather; failure of technical facilities; failure of essential production, or technical personnel to appear or be available; or other cause beyond its control. Sponsors are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete, damaged, mutilated, misdirected, mis-delivered, or delayed entries, or for technical or human errors or failures of any kind in connection with the submission, transmission, processing or judging of entries, including without limitation any malfunctions or failures of computer hardware, computer software, networks or telephone equipment or any technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or any combination thereof. Caution: Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any Web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the competition is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Sponsors reserve the right to seek damages from any such entrant to the fullest extent of the law. Sponsors are not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the competition, or in the announcement of the award.

These Terms and Conditions set forth the entire agreement and understanding between Sponsors and Applicant concerning the subject matter hereof and merges and supersede all prior discussions, agreements and understandings of any kind between them. Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, at any future time to terminate, modify or suspend the competition for any reason, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. All notices shall be in writing and shall be delivered to Applicant in accordance with instructions contained herein. Applicant shall be deemed an independent contractor and nothing contained herein shall constitute this arrangement to be employment, a joint venture, or a partnership. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any Terms of these Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of any provision contained herein. The titles of Sections of these Terms and Conditions are for convenience only and shall not be given any legal effect. The word “including” is used in these Terms and Conditions to mean “including but not limited to.”

Take the survey to help the code-a-thon teams help you !

[button href=”https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6WNVLN2″ size=”xlarge” title=”Survey for Providers” textcolor=”#fff”] [button href=”https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6XRFKP9″ size=”xlarge” title=”Survey for Patients” textcolor=”#fff”]

About the 2013 Code-a-thon “Platforms for the Underserved”

Last year’s event brought together 190 participants on 14 teams. First place winners developed the “SeniorServe” platform and have gone on to participate in a pilot with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Read a more about the 2013 winning teams here.

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