Hacking Dermatology

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, 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 moved 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 were automatically included in the final round of pitches for additional grants.

Hackathon Finalists

Final Pitch Recap

The winning teams from the September Hacking Dermatology event competed alongside three new teams for a total of $60k in additional grant funding.

Final Pitch Winners

1st Place: WartPatch
WartPatch, operating now as VeraDermics Incorporated, is developing a drug delivery platform for the painless delivery of immunotherapy past the stratum corneum for the purposes of local cutaneous immune stimulation. The initial unmet need being addressed by this innovative approach is the treatment of pediatric warts, a common and stigmatizing skin condition with no current effective and painless treatment options.

2nd Place: Flare
Flare is a wearable device that can objectively detect and continuously monitor sub-clinical changes of skin barrier integrity and skin inflammation, which are the key tenets of eczema, and skin health in general. With state-of-the-art sensor technology and predicative analytics, Flare can detect eczema flare ups 12 hours before clinically observable signs of eczema. It can also accurately measure which skin care product/topical medications can restore skin barrier defect and decrease inflammation the most, thus guiding early and personalized treatment.

Tie for 3rd Place: OnDERMAND
OnDERMAND Dermatology is a telemedicine practice specializing in remote dermoscopy. The practice has developed a specialized digital, wireless microscope (OnDERMAND Cam) for imaging of skin lesions. “DERM in a BOX” is a unique direct to consumer assembly of equipment and supplies for home use that recreates the in-person dermatologist office visit. OnDERMAND is based in New York City with operations in multiple states.

Tie for 3rd Place: TrackSore
TrackSore provides a more accurate and convenient wound tracking and measurement system with intelligent wound progression/infection prediction.


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

Hacking Dermatology Previous Years