Students Place First and Third at 2019 GSSA Northeast Hackathon

(L to R): Shams Shaikh, Quinten Dicken and Prahan Chetlur

Three second-year students placed first in the 2019 Global Surgery Student Alliance (GSSA) 2019 Northeast Hackathon, held at Tufts University in September.

The annual weekend competition tackles the imminent challenges in delivery, access and infrastructure pertaining to global surgery issues through interdisciplinary teams. Medical students from around the northeast are invited to participate.

Hackathons bring together professionals spanning the healthcare ecosystem – patients, nurses, doctors, engineers, developers, designers, business people, insurance and policy experts. Together they combat healthcare challenges using a diverse and interdisciplinary approach.

Prahan Chetlur, Quinten Dicken and Shams Shaikh secured a first place win with the idea of using sound and solar energy to create an off-grid autoclave for use in low-resource settings. In addition, first-year student Varnica Bajaj and her team earned a third place win for their idea of “Lap-2-Go,” a reusable product of minimal cost and sterilization requirements for laparoscopic procedures in low-resource settings.

“Participating in the GSSA Hackathon was an incredible experience that exposed all of us to the global surgical issues that are in desperate need for our attention. I was able to connect with medical students, engineers and physicians who each contributed an insightful perspective into how we can tackle these pertinent issues together. Going forward, I am excited to integrate my experiences from the Hackathon with the rest of my medical training,” said Mr. Chetlur.

The winning BUSM teams received prize money that could be used towards helping create their respective products.