VCU hosts first medical “Health Hacks”

VCU is hosting its first medical hackathon, where students will develop solutions to real medical problems over a 24-hour period.

“Health Hacks” is set for the weekend of Oct. 1, where students will choose from a variety of problems in the medical community. Students have 24 hours create a portfolio and prototype to the solutions that will be pitched to a panel of judges at the  end of the 24 hours.

Senior biomedical engineering student Simone Gregor and medical student Sina Mostaghimi founded Health Hacks. The pair previously took part in other hack-a-thons and thought bringing one to VCU would appeal to the wide variety of students on both campuses.

“This is a great way for students to show that they are taking the extra initiative to pursue opportunity outside of the classroom,” Gregor said.

Mostaghimi said this is a great way to get hands on experience and mentorship from professionals in the medical field.

“There are going to be many mentors that are available to kind of assist you through that 24 hour period,” Gregor said. “You’ll be able to bounce ideas off of them and they’ll be able to use their expertise to help guide students.”

The problems fit into three main categories: product design and improvements, hospital throughput, which focuses on the materials used in medical processes, and patient experience.

“We purposely kept it vague in that sense so we can attract a wide range of students,” Mostaghimi said.

Gregor said that not all problems have to be the ones that are pitched, students are welcome to come with their own ideas.

“Students are welcome to bring a problem of their own, that they have been thinking about and that they have been wanting to work on solving,” Gregor said. “That 24-hour period throughout the hackathon is going to be an excellent environment for students to solve those problems.”

Registration is open until the day of the event at


marylee clark. photo by sarah kingMary Lee Clark
Mary Lee is a senior studying journalism. She currently interns for RVAmag and, in addition to writing for the CT. She previously worked as a makeup artist at Darkwood Manor, did lighting design at Trackside Theater (where she is now on the Board of Directors) and photographed for the Page News and Courier.
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