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mHealth Hackathon in Brussels

The Synappz Team participated in the mHealth Hackathon in Brussels where we underwent a seriously intense weekend filled with plenty of memorable moments! Fourteen teams battled it out to ‘hack’ something brilliant together within an impossibly short timeframe. It’s typical to burn the midnight oil at these happenings and the ‘younger’ developers simply go to sleep in the middle of the floor in their sleeping bags. We had come prepared with a ready-made team but often teams are assembled on the spot and you can get to know a lot of very interesting people. The Brussels hackathon brought together a very international crowd with people hailing from many different countries. Seeing as the theme was ‘Mobile Health’ many teams opted to go for an app, although mobile websites or wearables could also have been an option.

We decided to go for a combination of a wearable with an app and called it ‘Willy’. Willy is supposed to significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of psychological erectile dysfunction (ED). Men suffering from psychological ED can have erections during the night. The current diagnostic methods for ED are rather harsh: Either, the patient secures a length of connected postage stamps around the penis so that an eventual nocturnal erection would result in the tell-tale tearing of the perforations between the stamps; or, the patient needs to attach a scary-looking device called a RigiScan to his penis. Both these methods are outdated (does anyone actually still have postage stamps lying around in the year 2016?)

We want Willy to provide a solution to the problem of nocturnal testing for erectile dysfunction. The wearable that sits around the penis will measure the number of natural erections (if any) occurring during the night and send the data to the app via Bluetooth. The patient can then choose from amongst different self-coaching modules or opt to get into direct contact with a sexologist. The topic may seem a bit trivial or whimsical to some, but one must consider that 450 million men suffer from this serious issue on a daily basis. We worked hard at our product and ended up winning the third prize at the hackathon. Moreover, we gained lots of insight into this medical problem and have gladly taken those insights back with us for the development of an ED Clinicard. Do we really plan to produce Willy? Several parties have shown definite interest but, as always, focus is paramount….who knows, one day soon you might find Willy on your shop shelf!

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