MedHelp Announces “Hacking Health” Hackathon Winners

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Winning teams created innovative solutions to help users manage their personal health on issues ranging from weight loss to food allergies


MedHelp, the world’s largest online health community and the world’s largest repository of self-reported medical data, today announced the winners of its first “Hacking Health” hackathon held February 8-10. The sold-out weekend-long event held at MedHelp’s headquarters in San Francisco, California had teams of developers and designers from all over the Bay Area working all hours to develop the most creative and innovative technology solution using MedHelp’s newly-launched health data platform. Hackathon sponsor FoodEssentials also opened up their API for teams who wished to leverage both MedHelp’s and FoodEssentials’ platforms to develop their submission.

Teams presented technology solutions across several platforms with the goal of solving health issues ranging from weight loss to food allergies. The technology solutions were judged based on innovation, impact, user experience, and use of presented technology.

“The MedHelp ‘Hacking Health’ Hackathon was a great way to celebrate the launch of MedHelp’s health API in addition to promoting innovation that intersects health and technology,” said Hassounah. “We challenged the developers to create a completely new and exciting custom health experience by using MedHelp’s platform and our database of more than 100 million data points. And the result was fabulous—every team that presented had an amazing idea that, if pursued, could gain traction in the marketplace and truly help people lead healthier lives.”

The winning solutions were:

First place:
·    App: Rhino
·    Type: Mobile web app
·    App Description: Rhino helps make nutrition labels relevant for anybody by personalizing the label to fit an individual's body type and weight-loss goals.
·    Team Name: Team Spontaneity
·    Team members: Jeremia Kimelman, Benjamin Kimelman, Marco Segreto

Second place:
·    App: Food Guard
·    Type: Android and iPhone app
·    App Description: FoodGuard is a mobile app that provides a way to scan a product barcode to see if the product contains any allergens the user wants to avoid.
·    Team Name: Food Guardians
·    Team members: Daisuke Fujiwara, Amit Aggarwal, Judy He, Charles Finkel

Third place:
·    App:
·    Type: Web app
·    App Description: allows users to take a picture of themselves and see what their bodies would look like in the future, based on their caloric intake.
·    Team Name: Futuresizers
·    Team members: Srihari Yamanoor, Edward Wang, Ro-el Cordero, Emily Desanctis

“MedHelp’s ‘Hacking Health’ Hackathon was a great opportunity to power health-related solutions using our data and great exposure for FoodEssentials in the Bay Area,” said Ronak Sheth, Executive Vice President of Product and Strategy for FoodEssentials. “There was a lot of excitement around our data and we’re very happy some of the top teams integrated our API into their solutions. We hope it is the first of many partnership events between FoodEssentials and MedHelp.”

MedHelp’s health API gives third-party developers the opportunity to tap into MedHelp’s millions-strong user community, its more than 100 million self-reported medical data points, and integrated health device partners including Zeo, Withings, and Fitbit. This gives developers a world-class health data framework on which to build, and instant access to an engaged and targeted audience, allowing them to quickly add value to a burgeoning health data ecosystem.

For a first look into MedHelp's "Hacking Health" Hackathon, check out the video at

Online tools and resources are available through MedHelp’s developer portal at

About MedHelp
As the world’s largest online health community, 12 million unique users turn to MedHelp each month to achieve better health. With communities providing support for more than 300 conditions, forums that connect users to doctors across the country, and partnerships with leading medical institutions including 7 of the 10 top U.S. hospitals, MedHelp provides unparalleled access to information and advice tailored to consumers’ personal health needs. MedHelp's suite of 50 online health tools, award-winning mobile apps, and seamless integration with numerous health devices create a robust destination for consumers to engage with and track their health. By closely connecting experts, support communities, information and health tools, MedHelp empowers millions of people to be their healthiest each and every day. For more information, visit

About FoodEssentials
FoodEssentials is a young and vibrant company developing best of breed technologies to solve problems related to food label data for consumers, manufacturers, retailers, and the government. Our LabelAPI allows developers to access the world's most powerful product label database to build creative, powerful, and innovative solutions utilizing our data.

The FoodEssentials team is a fine balance of product knowledge, technological expertise and creativity. We are headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and have personnel based in Australia, Europe, and Asia. FoodEssentials is a truly international, modern and exciting young company leveraging best of breed technologies for both data, communications and management processes. Everyone in the team is motivated by the potential for FoodEssentials to make a difference in how people choose foods. For more information, visit

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