Datavant Future of Healthcare Hackathon Best Patient Care App: Wavy Zone
From September 8–11, Datavant hosted its first annual Future of Healthcare Hackathon. Over 200 attendees spent the weekend developing innovative solutions to improve the future of healthcare. This week, we are excited to announce the various winners of the Hackathon.
The Winner of the Best in Category — Patient Care App is: Wavy Zone. Read on to learn more about this fantastic project.
Tiffani Snider — Tiffani is a retired Marine Sergant and mental health professional specializing in Veteran trauma, LBGTQ+ equality and bridging the gap in Veteran Affair services in underserved population. Tiffani works in partnerships with Veteran owned businesses across the US to raise awareness around Veteran suicide prevention tactics.
Caitlynn Rainey — Cait is a community visionary that brings together her training in graphic arts, designing neighborhood spaces and natural healing lectures to meet the needs at a grass-roots level. Cait founded Conscious Nona, a community model bringing higher quality lifestyles to areas like Lake Nona, Florida, home of Medical City.
Curtis Otterbein — Curt is a retired emergency room nurse using his skills to prepare future nurses to pass their national boards and increase passing rates in medical programs. His online course is called NCLEX Lingo. He also advocates and represents adaptive sports for amputees. Curt is currently innovating better experiences for amputee’s and their prosthetics.
Kaleb Snider — Kaleb is studying paleoanthropology with an emphasis in primatology. In his free time, he plays over 50 international instruments often featuring his performances at poetry slams and small concerts. His love for music led him to creating and coding his own programs for lesser known music genres.
Jesslynn Armstrong — Jesslynn is a Medical Massage Clinician specializing in biological responses in cellular healing using light technology.
The team writes: “Armed with just a smartphone and a wearable, our Veterans can start winning the battle today for improving their mental health.” Wavy Zone is an application with the capabilities to leverage Datavant’s Switchboard by adding an extra layer of digital therapeutics from real-time biofeedback, monitoring of stress levels, and push notifications that lead Veterans through mixed reality (MR) exercises in mindfulness. Using the Switchboard, Wavy Zone can bring in personalized data and keep its information flowing in the present tense. The app connects to any preferred wearable measuring and analyzing data continuously throughout the day. Wavy Zone fills the gap to complete the SwitchBoard’s holistic patient overview by shedding light on what happens in between doctor’s appointments. It has the potential to start learning patients’ patterns and identifying high-risk situations over time.
Wavy Zone also helps gather data where the medical ecosystem is bare, including undeserved Veteran populations like women Veterans and transgender groups. For those living in rural areas without access to care, or for Veterans that do not feel safe going to the VA, Wavy Zone becomes a helping hand for those people starting to get the care they need.
Using Datavant’s Switchboard, all the collected data from Wavy Zone can be delivered to the VA’s Computerized Patient Record System. With this data, the VA can better fulfill the mandates set forth by the Office of The Army Surgeon General in the Pain Management Task Force Final Report of May 2010 (Pain Management Task Force, n.d.). In this report, a new standard of care is envisioned that takes a more holistic approach, in which stress is addressed from a whole-person perspective, including home life, everyday stress levels, and emotional well-being.
To complete the loop of better patient care for our Veterans, Wavy then sends push notifications to nudge Veterans when it’s time to do stress-reducing exercises, which are based on the wearable data. The Veteran is prompted to put on their Hololens and sit back and relax as a forest grows around them. The more they relax, the more nature surrounds them. Using the app, Veterans can create a therapeutic environment in their homes with mixed reality. Implicit learning becomes a constant tool they can use in any environment when practiced consistently.
The team notes that too many people have been affected by mental health crises. It is estimated over 400 million people in the world are not being effectively treated for their mental health disorders (Top Barriers to Mental Health Treatment, 2020). In the U.S., less than half of the adults suffering from mental illness are receiving treatment, which can take up to 11 years to begin. Currently, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. (Halford, 2020).
Mental health issues hit too close to home for all of the Wavy Zone team members. The team’s hearts are centered around creating the biggest change for those suffering invisibly from mental health crises. Our tagline is Have a Heart for Your Mind.
The team sees a disconnect between those needing support and the limitations that qualified health care providers can offer. They want to bring the heart of this matter to the forefront of people’s minds.
With September being Suicide Prevention Month, and September 10th being World Suicide Prevention Day, the team prepared to build our project by envisioning a world in 5 years where critical data can quickly flow in multiple streams within a healthcare ecosystem. A place where patients can choose when and how to share their data to help save their lives. And where they can play a more important role in their own recovery from the comfort of their own homes.
One of Wavy Zone’s goals is to start detecting high-risk situations sooner.
Approaching the Problem
The Wavy Zone team first wanted to know if they could build an integration with FitBit and the HoloLens using Unity. It was key to the project so that the app could bring real-time monitoring together with mixed reality in the home environment. Once that was successful, they felt confident enough to build out Wavy Zone app using Wep App. Next, they wanted to see if they could integrate with Datavant’s Switchboard. Once they knew the information could be exchanged, they built a cloud environment where the data from the FitBit and the HoloLens could be passed through. Then, the biofeedback data from the wearable could be sent to the Wep App after the patient has done the relaxation exercises. This created a continuous loop of data that kept filling in the end-user’s experience. Finally, the circle of improving patient care was complete from the healthcare provider’s and the patient’s experience.
This potential impact includes 19 million US Veterans with mental health conditions, the third most frequently diagnosed category of conditions at the VA, for men and women. (Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services: Need, Usage, and Access and Barriers to Care, n.d.)
The team wants to honor those who have served the many by first focusing on Veterans, their military communities, and then the general population over the next 5 years.
Understanding the current lack of demographic data helped the team create a scalability plan based on the “Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN).” Network # 16 of the South Central VA Health Care Network is the largest population of veterans in the area. It contains the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as parts of Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and Florida. VISN 16 is projected by the VA to remain the most populated VISN for the next 25 years (Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services: Need, Usage, and Access and Barriers to Care, n.d.)
Wavy Zone plans to deploy our focus on the Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) region 16 by targeting key relationships will VAs within the network. They will hold live and virtual demonstrations of the project to diversified groups of healthcare providers, and will also target Veteran-owned businesses within the communities of region 16. They also hope to create a partnership with Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, and Whoop to provide Veterans with wearables free of charge as a way to gain momentum in the use of real-time monitoring capabilities.
The team brought insight gathered from interviews with information security officers at the Veteran Affairs (VA), an invaluable resource to understanding their unique electronic health records needs. The VA uses a system called Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) and has plans to integrate fully with Cerner within the next 10 years. Using this information, they asked Datavant Senior Vice President of Engineer, Sasi Mukkamala, to better understand the Switchboard’s capabilities to extract and send de-identified data in many different formats.
Wavy Zone looks forward to continuing the work to create synergistic strategies with better science, more accurate data, and interdisciplinary treatments with the hopes of better understanding PTSD and how to unlock the personal root causes of mental illness. Their hope is that Wavy Zone will create a windfall of benefits for our Veterans, their military communities, the health care providers that serve them, and communities across the U.S. The team already plans to better identify high-risk situations for Veterans by combining wearable data with patient self-reporting in a newer version of the app.
Wavy’s next steps are to include more treatment and recovery features for female Veterans, military sexual trauma, and transgender inclusiveness. The scalability of this application takes Wavy Zone far past a five-year lifespan to potential decades beyond this Hackathon.
Congratulations to Wavy Zone for developing this project!
Considering joining the Datavant team? Check out our careers page and see us listed on the 2022 Forbes top startup employers in America. We’re currently hiring remotely across teams and would love to speak with any new potential Datvanters who are nice, smart, and get things done and want to build the future tools for securely connecting health data and improving patient outcomes.