The 2nd Annual Health Innovation Hackathon concluded on Friday, June 1st, when selected teams presented their findings to a panel of judges at the Final Showcase. The Health Innovation Hackathon is a sprint-like event where interdisciplinary teams come together to create solutions to benefit health. This year, nine challenge proposals were chosen for the Hackathon, one of which was from Institute laryngologist Anaïs Rameau, MD, MPhil. Dr. Rameau’s challenge was to design an EMG-based wearable device for silent communication using cellphones for patients with no larynx (or voice box). Her team, MyophonX, worked on the challenge utilizing new and emerging technology offered by the Clinical Science & Translational Center at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Working with a gracious laryngectomy patient, the team was able to better understand the needs of the patient and develop a custom tailored device. With innovative 3-D scanning of the patient’s anatomy, the team created a 3-D printed mask for the patient. By applying machine learning to the face and neck muscles signals (EMG) they were able to use their new device to differentiate patient-specific silent speech.
MyophonX won the Grand Prize at this year’s hackathon, providing them with grant funds to continue working on their project. The team will use their award funds to refine their product and make it available for patients.