Alum wins MIT, Boston Children's Hospital competition
Although he started out as a double major in physics and math, Max Eve '13 - now of Burlington, Mass. - decided to stay a fifth year at MCLA to complete a minor in computer science. That extra time paid off as he found his niche in the healthcare division of the computer industry.
A software engineer at Arcadia Solutions, Eve (pictured above, second from left) recently collaborated with two co-workers to win a new competition sponsored by Massachusetts (MIT) and Boston Children's Hospital, "Hacking Pediatrics."
Over the course of a weekend, he joined doctors, nurses, clinicians, dietitians, entrepreneurs, business people, coders and other engineers as medical professionals presented healthcare issues to the competitors, who then teamed up to create potential solutions.
Eve and his group, RightByte!, chose to help two nutritionists who needed a searchable, comprehensive database of recipes for individuals with complex food allergies.
"It was a very actionable idea for the time frame that we had. They had all the resources. What they needed was for us to come up with a business plan for a website," Eve said.
"From 11 a.m. on Saturday to about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, we were continuously working on this. There was a lot more to it than just building a website. There was also a business plan to come up with. Was this going to make money? If there is a market, how do we market it? Although we each had our specialties, everyone contributed to each little part of the project."
With the competition over, they plan to form a business.
"We know there's a need for specialized nutritional information for people with allergies - especially children with allergies - so we're trying to fill this gap for those with multiple allergies so they might prepare healthy and nutritious food," Eve explained. "What we're doing right now is reassessing our idea. We know there's a need, but we're not 100 percent sure what will be innovative and new in this space."
In addition to a $3,000 cash prize- which Eve and his team plan to reinvest in their business or donate to a charity - they also won mentorships with various leaders in the industry.
"We get to meet up and work with some pretty high-powered tech people in the healthcare industry," Eve explained. "There are some pretty big wigs from Boston Children's Hospital. The mentorship they provide is an open door policy where we can meet with and bounce ideas off them to see what they think. They can help us mold and form whatever we choose to build from this experience. It's a pretty cool and awesome opportunity."
Eve's employer, Arcadia Solutions, works with large healthcare systems such as a client in Louisiana that consists of a vast network of hospitals and primary care facilities.
"We allow them to aggregate their data into a single database and do analytics on that data. This allows doctors to get a comprehensive medical history on their patients and track things like medications they've taken in the past, allergies, or if they use the emergency room as their doctor's office," he said. "I love the job. It's really cool. It's a small company, so the impact I get to have is pretty significant."
Even though computer science was not his main focus at MCLA, Eve said he was very well prepared to for a career in this field.
"I really have to give kudos to the computer science department. All my professors at MCLA were great. They went above and beyond, and put in tons of hours to help me out in so many different ways. This included a number of professors who sat down with me, went over my resume, listened to my presentations and guided me through the job search."