Hackathon tackles Lyme disease.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – There is a growing concern throughout the United States regarding the Lyme disease. Unfortunately, more and more people suffer from this disease which can be cured only if it’s detected at an early stage.
Therefore, over the last few years, scientists have doubled their efforts to find a better approach and a more efficient strategy to deal with this disease. One of the most important initiatives is the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which came with the idea of organizing a Hackathon for Lyme disease.
Many organizations collaborated to make this event successful, such as the Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation, Berkeley University, University of California, MIT Hacking Medicine, Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network’s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness.
Over 100 investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, clinicians, and scientists attended the event to bring their contribution with brainstorming ideas aiming to tackle Lyme disease. This tick-borne illness is caused by a tick which transmits debilitating bacteria by biting humans. The disease-carrying tick takes the bacteria after biting other animals, such as rats.
The only chance to treat this devastating illness is to detect it early. Unfortunately, physicians usually misdiagnose it due to inadequate diagnostic tests and lack of information about the disease. Based on the CDC statistics, around 329,000 Americans get infected with Lyme disease every year.
Worse, Bay Area Lyme Foundation established that the problem of wrong diagnose is widespread because around one million people probably suffer from this disease, some even without knowing about it. Experts advise people always to check their skin when they come back to the house. Plus, people should avoid woods during the tick season. Instead, they should stick to the main road.
According to Wendy Adams, Bay Area Lyme Foundation Science Committee, Lyme disease is a significant challenge for scientists, but collaboration and teamwork are the keys to fighting back this issue. The 100 participants formed 16 teams that competed with the best ideas to deal with the tick-borne illness.
Now, 5 teams remained for the big final that will hopefully bring the best out of them. Every finalist will receive $5,000 and more prizes depending on their future results. Hopefully, this Hackathon will raise awareness and solve the problem of Lyme disease.