CHILL, Cisco Hyper Innovation Learning Lab, is a group within Cisco that tackles large industry problems with a cross-section of large industry players. CHILL partnered with Gravitytank to uncover pains and discover opportunity areas within cancer care and translate those findings into a 48 hour hackathon. Unique to CHILL’s process is their emphasis on rapid prototyping and testing: teams were expected to prototype and test their ideas during multiple feedback cycles with end users. At the end of the event, the most successful ideas are turned into new start-ups to take the idea to market.
With CHILL, we sought to use the expertise of multiple complementary companies and the power of technology to find solutions that improve patient, caregiver and provider experiences in cancer care.
Key to the success of the event leaned on the meaningfulness of the problems we were trying to solve. In order to avoid the risk of topical solutions for ill-informed problems, we spent two months conducting in-depth secondary and primary research, speaking with cancer patients and their caregivers to fully understand the struggles they face everyday.
With such enormous reach, cancer care presents a huge opportunity for technology innovation — it is highly complex and expensive, it covers a wide range of chronic and acute uses cases, and it's increasingly moving outside of the hospital.
Since 2015, over 60 new anticancer drugs have been approved by the FDA. While scientific advances like immunotherapy and precision medicine are rapidly changing how we treat cancer, the experience of being treated lags behind.
We summarized our learnings in six opportunities mapped to the patient journey.
Unlike other hackathons which emphasize immediate solution generating, we broke the event into two halves: research immersion and ideation and prototyping.
Healthcare, especially a chronic one like cancer, is extremely personal. As such, we grounded each opportunity area in a series of videos featuring the patients we spoke with, letting event participants to directly hear their challenges.
Early on, the team recognized the need for a platform to act as the hub of information for the entire event. As a result, we used a microsite built on Squarespace as a flexible repository for us to summarize the insights from the research, share logistical details related to the event and act as a showcase for the final solutions at the conclusion of the event.
We utilized the floor to place a vinyl journey map the cancer journey for patients. The map was placed right in the middle of the event space to reinforce journey cancer patients face as event participants walked from the stage to their team spaces.
Throughout Fort Mason, we placed posters highlighting quotes and images featuring our patients.
Throughout the floor, we created physical vignettes to help participants visualize the context in which the patient would use their solution.
Vital to the success of the prototypes relied on the feedback teams received from actual cancer patients. Groups of cancer patients would cycle through each team to offer critique on their ideas.
Each team received their own flexible work space. With moveable panels, teams could modify and create their own space to diverge and converge.
All our work culminated into 48 hours of intense immersion, collaboration, rapid prototyping, and pitching.
Each day was structured similarly: every team would conduct rapid rounds of ideation and prototyping with multiple quick rounds of feedback from patients and providers.
Gravitytank facilitators guided teams through their opportunity area, immersing them in patient challenges and steering ideation.
With every idea, the Build Team, a collection of Cisco engineers and Gravitytank designers, transformed them into prototypes to test with patients.
Crucial to the success of the event lay in the groups of cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare providers providing feedback to each team.