ConsenSys Health Announces Winners of the STOP COVID-19 Hackathon

New York, NY, May 20, 2020–On Monday, at a live-streamed event, ConsenSys Health and co-sponsors ConsenSys, Hyperledger, Gitcoin and OpenMined announced the winners of the STOP COVID-19 Hackathon.  Launched April 13, the Hackathon has brought together more than 500 participants from over 70 countries.  Participants were matched with over 50 healthcare and life sciences professionals, who provided feedback, guidance and 30 hours of healthcare-related education throughout the Hackathon, in addition to 40+ hours of blockchain- and Ethereum-based education offered for free through ConsenSys Academy.

“I’m inspired not only by the technologists who built amazing solutions in a short period of time, but also the healthcare and life sciences mentors who volunteered significant time and expertise to ground and inform these solutions,” said Heather Flannery, Founder and CEO of ConsenSys Health. “We look forward to continuing to integrate disparate stakeholder groups and supporting the winners and their mentors as they take these projects to the next level.”

The $10,000 top prize was awarded by KPMG LLP to the dPlasma team, who built a matching mechanism for donors and recipients of blood plasma, empowering hematologists but keeping all personal health information private and secure.  “[dPlasma] really did reflect a deep understanding of the situation on the ground, which so often as technologists, you can envision what you think the problems are from reading headlines or from, you know, a few interviews, but it was really clear that this was somebody who understood the relationship between hematologists and blood banks and hospitals, and the role of verifiable credentials can play in building this right,” said judge Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director of Hyperledger.

“For hematologists, they really don’t have a place where they can go share this information in a secure manner, and then be able to leverage services that they may need,” said judge Dr. Cheryl Pegus, President of Consumer Health Solutions and Chief Medical Officer at Cambia Health Solutions.  “If you’ve gone to any of the community sites where physicians are congregating, they’re looking for a place for this.”

Commenting on the project, Joe Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of ConsenSys stated, “It makes use of the important cryptographic primitives, pseudonymity, verifiable credentials that we’re looking to see in so many different solutions going forward. It generalizes easily. It’s a good architecture—a not too complicated architecture—it generalizes easily to new use cases and can be extensible.”

The second prize of $7,000 was awarded by Leidos to the Decentralized Supply Chain project, seeking to bring together decentralized local supply chains for items such as 3D printed masks.  “[Decentralized Supply Chain] empowers individuals, and smaller communities to take action, and really create whatever is needed,” said judge Michael Akinyele, Chief Innovation of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  “It could be helping individuals get their groceries, it could be anything, and ultimately earning some social capital along the way.”

Judge Jose Arrieta, Chief Information Officer of the US Department for Health and Human Services stated, “[this] is a mechanism for a small market participant that normally would have been squeezed out of the market by a larger entity that maybe controls the supply chain, and [they’ve] created connectivity for them through the application itself to actually offer their supply directly to someone that’s in need. So I think it’s extremely disruptive.”

The third place $3,000 prize went to Decentralized Pandemic Reserve, who created a Decentralized Autonomous Organization for hospitals to distribute supplies.  Said Mr. Lubin, “It was very thoughtful, uses real world data, and is preventative. So if we can build a system like this that can be applied early in an event, then maybe we don’t really have an event.”

Representing the dPlasma team, Juliana Passos noted, “As hackers, we have the duty to build something that people will use in the real world. Doctors have a knowledge and vision of what happens behind the scenes in a hospital setting. At STOP COVID19 we had the chance to access that knowledge and work together to build something useful.  I’m very pleased to have worked with the ConsenSys Health team in this one.” 

The winning teams will be featured in a follow-up virtual event hosted by ConsenSys Health on July 27th at 12 ET.

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