The Berklee Music and Health Institute, in partnership with the leading life science company, MilliporeSigma, and the Hacking Medicine Institute, a nonprofit organization affiliated with MIT Hacking Medicine, will host a Music and Health Innovation Challenge from April 6-7 at District Hall in Boston’s Seaport district, with an opening reception at the Cambridge Innovation Center’s Venture Cafe on April 5.
This will be the first hackathon of its kind. Berklee runs the world’s largest music therapy division in a college setting dedicated to enhancing quality of life for patients in clinical and community settings.
Using Hacking Medicine Institute’s proven model, integrated hacker teams from healthcare fields, technology and the arts will collaborate on solution-driven proposals in response to how music, when paired with data analytics, AI, wearable devices, augmented reality and other technology, can address health challenges. Participants will pitch, plan and protype solutions in four challenge areas, including:
· the treatment of chronic pain
· regular movement and mobility for those living with physical ailments
· creating safe spaces for patients with dementia
· identifying and addressing symptoms of increased stress
· how biosensors measure the physiological benefits of music-based experiences
The top five teams will be awarded an incubation contract (up to five months) with a team of professional mentors and a $5,000 seed grant. A final pitch competition will take place during Boston’s 4th annual HUBweek resulting in additional prize awards of up to $25,000 per team.
During the final proposal phase, the Hacking Medicine Institute will assist the teams from research to commercialization, developing connections to potential investors and companies. The fundamental goal resulting from the hackathon will be to bring novel, effective, and accessible music-based technological solutions to situations that could ultimately transform health and well-being in the future.
The effects of music therapy have been researched and analyzed in patients spanning a wide array of physical and mental health conditions. In September 2018, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in partnership with the Kennedy Center and the American Music Therapy Association, issued a series of applications calling for additional research into the connections between music and health. The NIH previously developed its Sound Health program with the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Endowment for the Arts in order to expand upon existing research, explore and identify new music therapy initiatives, and raise public awareness for how music impacts health and wellness.
The Hacking Medicine Institute has conducted more than 300 hackathons on topic ranging from dermatology to pediatrics. Support for the Music and Health Innovation Challenge is provided by MilliporeSigma, a leading, global life science company, with additional support provided by the Barr Foundation.