SIAT researchers represent SFU at Hacking Pain event

December 20, 2021

On November 26th and 27th School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT) researchers represented SFU at Hacking Pain: A Skunkworks Project, an innovation event organized by Providence Research in collaboration with St. Paul’s Foundation.

Hacking Pain was designed by event organizers to tackle the challenges faced by individuals managing pain.

Teams of participants at the event were tasked with submiting a problem and then were challenged with creating a prototype and designing a solution and that addressed the matter. With the support and guidance of mentors, teams of participants designed, built, tested, and fine-tuned their prototypes throughout the event.

Dr. Gromala's pitch at the 2021 Hacking Pain Skunkwork Project.

The event was notable for bringing together academic researchers, healthcare professionals and clinicians, caregivers, patients, and industry leaders to collaborate and share expertise in pursuit of innovation.

SIAT was well-represented at the event by faculty and graduate students who took part as mentors and as challenge participants. Dr. Diane Gromala and Dr. Chris Shaw assembled a multidiscipliary team for the event that included researchers from SIAT's Pain Studies Lab.

In her mentorship at the event, Gromala drew on her extensive experience organizing similar cross-Canada and multidisciplinary innovation workshops that have focused on expanding healthcare capacity through health tech innovation.

SIAT graduate students Bhairavi Warke and Digital Health Circle CTO Greg Christie participated in the event as Design Thinking mentors on-site and were joined by event participant and SIAT graduate student Tatiana Losev. Alumnus and Pain Studies Lab researcher Mark Nazemi also attended the event and led the team of participants awarded second place.

Going forward, SFU's Pain Studies Lab plans to host similar design sprints for healthcare organizations in BC throughout 2022

Learn more about the Hacking Pain event here.