Solving the challenges facing patients with skin disease

Hacking Dermatology aims to shine a spotlight on skin health and to address the most pressing challenges for patients living with dermatologic conditions. The year-long initiative provides innovators with a framework to enable the formation of multi-disciplinary teams that are able to clearly identify a need in the field and to actualize their ideas. By engaging like-minded individuals in collaborative partnerships Hacking Dermatology seeks to generate and accelerate innovative technologies and products in dermatology.


2019 Hackathon: September 13-15, Boston, MA
2020 Final Pitch Competition: February 4, 2020, 5:30pm – 9:00pm, Cambridge, MA

About the Hackathon

In early 2019, expert scientists, clinicians, researchers, and industry leaders worked together to outline critical challenges facing patients affected by skin conditions. Through crowdsourcing and the framing process, 10 challenge statements emerged to serve as challenge prompts for the three-day hackathon.

The hackathon itself began Friday, September 13, with background talks from multiple stakeholder groups. Participants came from exceptionally diverse backgrounds, ranging from clinical dermatology to industrial design to data science to chemical engineering, and formed project teams to advance innovative ideas that were presented on the final afternoon.

September Recap

With a focus this year on precision medicine, the three-day hackathon, Sept. 13-15, in Boston, engaged more than 100 participants on teams that advanced potential solutions and mentors providing expertise, guidance and feedback.

Each finalist team advanced to the incubation stage of the Hacking Dermatology framework, which includes $5,000 in grant seed funding and access to dedicated mentors to advance their ideas. All finalists are automatically included in the final round of pitches for additional grants.

Hackathon Finalists

Final Pitch Competition

The finalist teams from the September Hacking Dermatology event will compete alongside new teams for additional grant funding – a total of $60k will be distributed.

New teams, both those who participated in the September hackathon and those who did not, are invited to apply for entry to the Final Pitch Competition by completing this application.


Hacking Dermatology is spearheaded by a consortium of founding partners: Hacking Medicine Institute (HMi), LEO Science & Tech Hub, the R&D innovation unit of LEO Pharma, and Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID).

MIT Hacking Medicine, the Lahey Medical Center Department of Dermatology, and the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) have provided sponsorship. Inquires for sponsorship of future events can be sent to hackingdermatology@gmail.com.

Hacking Dermatology Previous Years