Over an activity-packed weekend in late September, doctors, government officials, public health experts, and other stakeholders in the fight against the national opioid addiction crisis came together to generate solutions with the potential for long-term impact, at the Empire State Opioid Innovation Challenge in New York City. Twelve teams competed in the Solutions Sprint portion of the challenge on Sept. 29 to co-create and pitch their ideas endeavoring to help those affected by addiction. HST MEMP PhD student George Chao, part of Team Recover-We, conceptualized a real-time, personalized peer support network connecting those affected by addiction with local resources via integrated search engines.
For their work, the team received the Northwell Health Innovations Award; $1,500; and the chance to compete in January 2019 for a $10K grand prize, plus support from CAMTech, a division of MGH working to accelerate the idea generation to patient impact process.
"Every member of the team were indispensable," Chao said after the challenge. "And the experience of watching the other members contribute towards a final product that none of us could have imagined alone was a much greater reward than winning the prize itself."