“Hackathon on Rare Diseases” – Winner projects

On 30 September 2017 the projects “Spy:hunt, cyber-physical gaming platform for hospitalized kids” (by Daniele Enoletto, Chiara Di Vece, Filippo Bracco and Riccardo Vailati) and “Preventable, a device and an app service aimed to prevent illness attacks or recidivism“(by Shrine Graai, Luca Cerina, Luca Paccani, Philip Grasselli) won the “Hackathon on rare diseases” organized by Giorgia Zunino at the Health Forum in Florence.

The teams were a mix of young NECSTLab engineers and LABA designers (from Brescia) who had been working for two days to find new ideas that could help to improve prevention, quality of life and research for the rare diseases.

Winners abstract:

More than 70% of people affected by rare diseases are children. This condition often forces them to endure long and frequent therapy sessions that interfere with their recreational activities. SPY:HUNT is an interactive gaming platform designed to alleviate their isolation and solitude, by connecting them with their friends through a tablet and wearable devices equipped with a camera and a microphone. Thanks to SPY:HUNT, hospitalized kids will be able not only to take part in activities with friends, but even to play a central role in their games.


What does terribly have pathologies, like cephalalgy or epilepsy, in common with rare genetic defects that lead to disabling diseases like hereditary angioedema or lymphoblastic leukaemia? They have cyclic attacks or relapses that we belive to be unpredictable until symptoms occours. Our idea behind Preventable consists in a wearable device that collects a huge ammount of physiological parameters before attacks or relapses (the period could last hours, days or weeks depending on pathology). Those data will be integrated and analyzed to prevent acute illness before symptoms onset. As a result, the subject may start specific prophylaxis of his pathology and potentially block every disabling effect, improving his quality of life. Our idea has some critical issues in relation to the feasibility (ex: the possibility that certain pathologies have recognisable symptoms before an attak) and to the difficulty in relation of clinical trials and the possibility of an accurate monitoring of several patients over a prolonged period.