Three Penn students develop award-winning healthcare technology

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Three students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing have developed award-winning healthcare technology.

Students David Bendell and Kerry McLaughlin took top prizes for their healthcare innovation projects at Startup Weekend Health 2.0 in Philadelphia in February. The 54-hour event allows aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.

Mr. Bendell, earning his master's degree at Penn Nursing, won first place for his application, mICE (my In Case of Emergency). The mICE app aggregates and provides vital personal information, such as name, blood type, allergies, and major medical conditions, for a person experiencing a health emergency via an easy-to-scan QR code.

Ms. McLaughlin, a senior, took third place for KnowMe, an app that develops profiles of nursing home residents to advance three goals: increase family members' peace of mind, enhance healthcare providers' workflow, and improve health outcomes for nursing home patients.

Penn Nursing doctoral student Molly Kreider Viscardi and Penn student colleagues have won the fourth annual Penn Public Policy Challenge. Using text messaging, email, and phone calls, re:Mind targets individuals discharged from inpatient mental health hospitalizations in an effort to curtail preventable re-hospitalizations. The team focused on the need for an inexpensive, simple, research-supported intervention to address the no. 1 reason patients miss their initial appointment—forgetting. Team re:Mind's mental healthcare proposal moves on to the National Invitational Public Policy Challenge at the National Constitution Center this month.

"At a time when there is an urgent need for innovative solutions to healthcare challenges, we are preparing a generation of students who can think outside the box and expand on the interconnectivity among healthcare science, research, and clinical practice," said Penn Nursing Professor Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN. She leads Penn Nursing's Healthcare Innovations initiative aimed at improving healthcare through applications, simulations, and gaming.

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