Mega Health Jam Delivers the Goods
If you have been following me the past two months then you know about Mega Health Jam. It has been a real labor of love and something that I truly believe will make a difference for our community and unite two of Orlando's largest industries, Gaming and Health Care.
Of course I have a very biased opinion and as with all events of this nature there were the inevitable hiccups and blunders, however, the proof is in the results. The 4 days of this years inaugural Mega Health Jam set up to accomplish many things and we nailed it. Our objectives were clear from the start;
- Create awareness for our gaming community and change the perception that gaming is not to be taken seriously.
- Provide solutions to the many issues Health Care Providers face using the power of gaming and interactive media technology.
- Showcase to the Medical Community that they need look no further than their own back yard to find companies and individuals who can help make their vision a reality.
- Provide networking and educational opportunities for our sponsors and participants.
- Create an event that is fun and accessible to all.
Day One - A Night of Talks & Comedy
The festivities kicked off Thursday night April 12th at the Orlando Science Center with a night of talks and comedy. The Organizers - Rob Coble, Kelli Murray, Kunal Patel and Nina Talley wanted an evening to set the mood and provide details for the upcoming weekend. In addition to some great stand up provided by Heather Shaw we heard from Dr Haru Okuda, Dr. Vicki Loerzel and Verapy's Jonathan Truong about how they are currently using technology , helping patients with physical therapy & managing side effects from chemotherapy.
A standing room only crowd of over 150 mingled and kick started their brains for the grueling three days of ideas and development ahead. Vendors on hand like Virtual Hammer, Verapy, CelleC Games, Doghead Simulations & ARCHER FRS mixed with the development community and representatives from health care including many of our mentors who were on hand to help steer ideas in a realistic setting.
Day Two - Pitches & Getting Started
Friday night we moved to "Medical City" in Lake Nona and set up shop at the Guidewell Innovation Center . The building and environment were beautiful and if you are not familiar with this space I encourage you to click the link and check it out.
After a veritable feast of pizza and wings (Gamer's are not known for their healthy diets) we got down to business and allowed participants to pitch their ideas for the two days of development ahead. Many of our mentors including Dr. Deborah Beidel of UCF RESTORES and Dr. Ricardo Silva of Orlando Health gave passionate ideas to our participants. Over 35 pitches were narrowed down to 17 projects and covered health care issues such as PTSD, Social Anxiety, ER throughput, physical therapy and falls. The idea is create technologies that monitor progress and create a more immersive way to train and better participation from patients that may struggle with follow through and compliance. Some even offered back end metrics for monitoring.
Participants divided into teams based on their specialties. Gamers provided the programming, art and technical prowess while the health care mentors provided the direction and used personal experiences to help steer the project into a tool that would benefit their staff and their patients. Work on these projects would begin the next morning.
Day Three - Development
Developers and Mentors hunkered down from 8 AM until we literally had to kick them out at 11 PM that evening. It's amazing what can be accomplished in such a short period of time but it's not easy. Aji food trucks provided the nourishment for breakfast. Lunch was provided by Scratch and were generously sponsored by Virtual Hammer and Welli.
Day Four - Development and Presentations
Teams continued to burn until around 4 when final builds and presentations were due. After a delicious burritto bowl dinner from our sponsor, Qdoba, we headed into the auditorium to witness the the spoils. The bonds that were created after two days in the trenches were apparent when Dr's and Gamer's united on stage to show off their work. Many of our mentors are Gamer's themselves and I believe they were overjoyed to have their fingerprints on some of these projects. Gamers, being the benevolent society that they are are overjoyed when able to contribute their skills to projects that help to benefit society and this was certainly no exception.
Here is a list of the 17 projects that were presented along with a brief description of each;
AR Bandaids prototype that will in the future let kids better adhere to physician guidance and follow healthy best practices.
VR Relaxation and therapeutic exercises to those going through physical therapy.
Distraction Therapy and Anxiety reducing app for children and adults to play with an Augmented Reality based dog. Developed with guidance from mentors and advisors from UCF Restores
Gamification of hand therapy by utilizing Leap Motion with chiropractor-approved hand gestures.
Learn to better train your sense of peace and calm tracking brainwave data utilizing the Muse headset
Escape from your captor and learn about human trafficking in this VR Escape Room
Learn how to manage the complexities of operating an efficient ER, keeping patients happy and healthy
Breathe was designed not for people who suffer from social anxiety, but for the people around them. Social anxiety is a difficult sensation to put into words, and can be challenging to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it. With Breathe, people who deal with social anxiety will have a means of expressing their experience without having to use words.
a VR experience that simulates what it's like to have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
A party game to help those who fear starting the conversation
A humorous & very Meta take on the anxiety people can face and how to relieve anxiety when going to present at an event like MeGa Health Jam.
An aesthetic app that turns emotional pain into art, designed with multiple intentions to heal mental and emotional pain. Allows users to literally paint with their feelings. Emotions are recorded for the user to communicate with their mental health providers in an effort to refine diagnoses and treatment to enhance their chance of recovery.
Simulation to increase the awareness to the dangers of falling and the methods to reduce or prevent injury.
A SNAP location and healthy food finder, for children, that gamifies nutritional literacy, shopping and eating in the vein of Pokemon Go.
App for students to anonymously report issues: bullying, violence, or any other physical or emotional concerns.
Uses MRI Image Recognition and tensor flow for poets to show the percentage an image is related to a provided data set which can be helpful to orthopedic surgeons in prioritization.
The title stems from reducing the reliance on opioids for pain management as a product of treatment of painful back issues such as Sciatica using surgical spine fusion. A Virtual Reality based Operating room experience was created to train surgeons on how to perform a specialized minimally invasive surgical procedure using a device that would normally cost a lot of money, time and travel to train on.
Sponsors - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND FOR BELIEVING IN US. We could not have pulled it off without your dollars and participation. Health Care Providers and Mentors - Your passion and commitment to your profession reaffirms my belief in mankind. I know you work tirelessly week in and week out with patient comfort and needs your foremost thought. To take time out of your life and away from your families to to be apart of this event is something to which we could never possibly send enough praise your way.
Gamer's - Once again you blow me away. I wish I could bottle your passion and your brilliance. You showed up in droves and showed the community that this is a profession that deserves to be taken seriously. Your ongoing benevolence and attitude fuels me each day and I love you all.
Student's - Way to go. You are well on your way with your careers. Networking opportunities like these are rare and you took advantage of the chance to begin your journey and brand yourself as someone who is not afraid to get involved and get busy. You now also have more to add to your resumes and trust me when I tell you this is exactly what hiring managers are looking for. BTW, I love you too.
Again, my thanks to all. There is a lot more coming to recap this amazing weekend so be sure to follow my Facebook page - The Rob Coble Network for more updates as they become available. Oh, finally, thanks for helping to set the stage for next year's Mega Health Jam. I think we should do it again don't you?
More Photos on the Indenomicon Facebook site. Lastly, thanks to my partners in all of this or should I say thanks for letting me crash your awesome party. Health Innovators & Indienomicon - Kunal, Kelli, Nina and all the Indienomicon knuckleheads who spent their time herding cats at the event. I am proud to walk among you all.