Health technology ‘jam’ to inspire innovation, creativity

Game Jam
Inaugural Health Tech Jam (Photo: Carley Moster)

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Applied Health Sciences will host its second annual Health Tech Jam on Sept. 28.

The event, which will bring together UIC students pursuing graduate degrees in physical therapy and biomedical visualization, will sequester students for 8 hours and give them a challenge: brainstorm, develop and pitch a tech solution to a common health problem.


Sept. 28
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Altus Academy
751 S. Sacramento Blvd.


The event is meant to foster innovation and collaboration among peers from divergent disciplines and inspire new health technology ideas.

“Jams are extremely common in the tech industry among video game, web and app developers, and we want to harness that same type of creativity for health and wellness,” said UIC’s Samantha Bond, who launched the Health Tech Jam in 2018.

A change from the inaugural event, this year’s jam will be hosted at Altus Academy, a nonprofit college preparatory elementary school in Chicago, whose students and parents will get involved by providing direct feedback as potential consumers of these startup tech ideas. The West Side school serves low-income families – a group historically more likely to have complex health care needs – and does not charge tuition.

“We are very excited to bring in the community angle this year,” said Bond, visiting clinical assistant professor of physical therapy and biomedical and health information sciences. “In health care tech, the only solutions that count are ones that people will actually use.”

At the end of the event, UIC student teams will pitch their technology to faculty members in a “Shark Tank”-style presentation for theoretical funding.

UIC students and faculty and Altus Academy faculty, students and parents will be available for interviews.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Jackie Carey at or 312-996-8277. Media are encouraged to attend from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the best interactive and visual opportunities.

Schedule of events:

Time Description
9 a.m. Registration, breakfast and team assignments
9:30 a.m. Introduction (mission and vision), icebreaker activity and schedule
9:50 a.m. Teams design three rough pitches
10:30 a.m. Teams present to each other
11:15 a.m. Introduction of Altus participants
11:30 a.m. Round-robin idea pitching to Altus participants
12 p.m. Altus participants assigned to teams and re-design idea
12:45 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Concurrent workshops (wireframing, clinical recommendations)
2 p.m. Wireframing
3 p.m. Faculty feedback and pitch design
4 p.m. Pitches
4:45 p.m. Awards and wrap-up
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