Hospitals have tons of old medical records, many of which exist in a physical form (typically paper, or micro-film), meaning accessing them can be a time-consuming (and expensive) endeavor.
What it does
MARS (Micro-film Archive Retrieval System) is a secure, lightweight, easy-to-navigate hosting solution for legacy medical records. Records are scanned, or otherwise downloaded into our system, file names are analyzed by the system, search terms are extracted from the filenames and indexed into a searchable database, and healthcare providers can search, by name, for the records they wish to retrieve.
How I built it
I didn't build it, Thomas Backlund did. He's a wizard.. It's actually kind of a funny story; I started a conversation with Thomas after reading an article about how he moved to the forest for an extended period of time and coded Blockie, an IoT development platform, and he agreed to come to the states for a summer "Startup Camp." It ended up just being us, but we spent a couple days brainstorming what to make, and eventually settled on this application, as there was a local medical record archival business that had fallen behind the times (and subsequently dried up), who would be able provide us with the information we would need to design MARS. So we spent a couple weeks interviewing this company and designing/developing this application, distilling MARS down to the essential utility it needed to be able to provide, then, Thomas continued on his way (to work on a project dealing with using technology to fight poaching in Africa, then to give a TEDx talk).
Challenges I ran into
Nothing really.. Like I said, Thomas is a wizard. If we would've had more time together MARS would be more robust, but it really doesn't need to be; this is an application for hospitals to house legacy medical records, and eliminate the time it takes to dig through old files (typically for insurance purposes).
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The experience was cool; I'm a hackathon/Startup Weekend junkie, so to immerse myself in that environment for an extended period of time with a seriously-talented developer was an accomplishment, as it furthered my understanding of the startup world, and increased my desire to build a company. Also having a complete application that could go into production tomorrow is a good feeling.
What I learned
All you need is Woz. Find one awesome developer and you can make anything you want. Also, the healthcare industry is in dire need of better technologies to streamline operations and reduce costs, because healthcare costs are out of control in the US.
What's next for MARS
We'd love to integrate OCR and be able to extract useful data out of hosted records (in a HIPPA-compliant manner). Hospitals across the country have archives full of paper records that will eventually need to be digitized, and it would be cool to make them useful beyond just streamlining access to them. We'll also apply the new branding, and make some UI tweaks. Following this hackathon, we will look into independent pilots, but ideally we would like to move forward via partnership with the GE, as this application seems like an ideal candidate to live in GE's Health Cloud.