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      NurseHack4Health: Elevating and empowering nurses through virtual innovation & collaboration
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      NurseHack4Health: Elevating and empowering nurses through virtual innovation & collaboration

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      Nurses are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, as they are being called upon to innovate and help solve the many challenges this pandemic has posed to communities worldwide. For 120 years, through global outbreaks from Ebola to TB and HIV, Johnson & Johnson has proudly supported nurses because they are innovative leaders who can improve patient outcomes and strengthen health systems. Given this critical juncture posed by the current crisis, Johnson & Johnson, the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs, & Leaders (SONSIEL), Microsoft and dev up came together to host a virtual hackathon, connecting nurses and other HCPs with developers, engineers and tech enthusiasts alike to help find solutions to some of the most pressing COVID-19 challenges in real-time. During the weekend of May 15-17, over 500 innovators from around the world and spanning 32 teams gathered on the Microsoft Teams platform to participate in the inaugural NurseHack4Health: COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon.

      Through NurseHack4Health, participants had the opportunity to ideate against five focus areas chosen for their prominence in the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on these focus areas, teams were charged with creating minimally viable products (MVPs) that could be fast-tracked to further development and trialed in a healthcare setting.

      For many, NurseHack4Health was a first-time hackathon experience, and true to the resilient spirit of innovators, participants learned and adapted quickly to create compelling presentations in just 56 hours – many collaborating in between shifts and working on their pitches through the night – fueled by their passion to improve healthcare.

      On Saturday afternoon, teams practiced their pitches in a special Pitch Coaching Session with health innovation leaders and mentors to receive valuable feedback on their solutions and presentations. Pitch coaches included Assistant Vice President at Hospital for Special Surgery and Co-Founder of Inspiren, Paul Coyne; Director of the BARDA Alliance at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS, Rachel Rath; Penn Nursing’s Director of Innovation Marion Leary, and many more.

      After a weekend of ideation, research and problem-solving, the NurseHack4Health teams presented their solutions before a panel of judges in their respective focus areas. Out of the many impressive solutions, the 5 winning teams—one from each focus area—were selected:

      • Remote Patient Monitoring in Acute Care: “Hear Now,” a platform that hosts recorded messages from loved ones that nurses can play for patients on demand.
      • Remote Patient Monitoring in Home Care: “Project Flourish,” a digital tool to bring telehealth to those in remote areas without the need for a smartphone.
      • Patient Hand-off & Huddle: “Nurse GPS,” a method for tracking necessary medical equipment on hospital floors to improve efficiency of care.
      • Data & Reporting: “Activate School Nurses,” a platform that leverages student nurses to help alleviate the oftentimes disproportionate school nurse-to-student ratio.
      • Resiliency & Self-Care: “WellNurse,” a mobile application providing coping strategies by nurses for nurses to address profession-related stress.

      To help bring these solutions to life, the winning teams will receive access to Microsoft engineers; mentorship and coaching from Microsoft and SONSIEL; a 3-month SONSIEL Fellowship opportunity; access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS innovation-focused webinars, an appearance on an upcoming Microsoft Podcast “Confessions of Health Geeks,” and recognition on the social media channels of each event organizer.

      While the innovators were not together physically, NurseHack4Health showed that when nurses and tech enthusiasts combine forces, innovation truly has no limits. Johnson & Johnson was honored to be a part of NurseHack4Health and looks forward to supporting more events in the future that will elevate and empower nurse-led innovation to not only overcome the health challenges of today, but to also be better prepared to address the health challenges of tomorrow.

      To learn more about how Johnson & Johnson is supporting nurses, visit:

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