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Timing Liu
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Hackathon project helps to save lives

Fitzwilliam College undergraduate Timing Liu (Medicine 2019) was part of a winning team in a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) COVID-19 hackathon challenge.

He began the project last month with four others from across the world with the aim to share lessons learned by those further along the viral curve.

Timing said: “As a medical student I took the opportunity to be part of a global solution to resolve the COVID-19 challenge. We started this project, hosted at Covmd.org, to address some of the needs during the pandemic.”

Covmd.org is an online platform where doctors can share educational resources and mentor other doctors.

Timing said: “Through the hackathon, we identified the need directly from doctors who were at the peak of the pandemic to find out best practice from other doctors who were past the peak.

“COVID-19 has prohibited us from getting together in person but has also normalised the process of meeting online and working together with people around the world to provide solutions.”

After winning the MIT challenge, Timing and the team were given $500 funding to test the idea and develop the minimum viable product, and now they are looking at applying for grants and crowdfunding to extend the project further.

Timing said: “Doctors in China and South Korea are able to link those with overseas doctors who are now facing the pandemic. They’re able to save lives by sharing their expertise. Coronavirus has helped us to realise how important it is to share information to improve quality of care, and we are hoping that this community will continue long into the future.

“I am now programming a wiki for doctors with Matthew Byrne, one of my Anatomy supervisors, to complement the website. 

“I’m very grateful to everyone who volunteered to help. A great amount of support and mentorship came from our close-knit College community – including Fitz students and alumni, my Tutor, my Director of Studies and other supervisors.”

Timing and the team are looking for more developers, doctors, and business professionals to join the project. For more information, see www.covmd.org.

Watch a video interview with Timing and our Chaplain Graham Stevenson.

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Timing Liu
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