Mozilla Community Project

Follow this project on Twitter



Northland CAPS received a grant from the Mozilla Foundation through the Gigabit Community Fund for STUDENTS REDUCE PATIENT READMISSIONS WITH THE GIG.   The grant period is from July 28, 2014 – October 31, 2014.

Northland CAPS students, high school juniors and seniors from six school districts, will collaborate with business partners like KU Medical Center, Liberty Hospital, North Kansas City Hospital, Heart to Heart Network, LLC and many others to develop a suite of communications/monitoring/treatment tools for clinicians and high-risk patients with the desired outcome of reducing the frequency of readmission, all while learning how to build, engineer and market next generation gigabit technologies and applications.

Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (Northland CAPS) provides high school students in the Northland a professional, innovative and entrepreneurial education through career-oriented experiences that represent high demand/high skill job opportunities.

Students learn from global and local leaders, such as Ford Motor Company, Holland 1916, Cerner, North Kansas City Hospital, Liberty Hospital, and Bank Liberty. Students are able to gain experience working with real businesses and learning through meaningful projects.

Northland CAPS serves students from the school districts of Kearney, Liberty, North Kansas City, Park Hill, Platte County and Smithville.  Northland CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the needed workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.

Week 12:  October 20  – October 24

This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student AM Team had an opportunity to pitch their CHF Remote Monitoring App at the 1 Million Cups/Northland.  They were able to answer the questions of the audience with significant ease.  The questions provided another opportunity to examine ‘user experience’, because the questions came from individuals that are 60+ years old. 

Question 1) Most elderly are on a fixed income, how would a CHF patient be able to pay for the device and service?  A:  We plan to work with insurance companies to demonstrate how our product will save money.  Patients will receive a ‘starter kit’ and patient education.

Question 2)  How has the idea you have created been received by doctors?  A:  We have had positive support from the doctor mentors we have worked with so far.

Question 3)  You stated that the rural patients were less likely to have access and/or the expertise to using technology, how do you plan to work with rural communities, because this is where we need the help the most?  A:  One the students stated very confidently, “We know that it will be hard work but we must make it work.  We are confident that we can make this work.”

Dr. Sam Turner, from UMKC School of Medicine and Trent DeVreugd, who oversees a transitional care group working with 14 hospitals to reduce readmission, mentored students in PM team.  Each team presented their pitch and product functionalities. Mentors provided feedback and redirection.  Derek Bereit, CEO of Symptomly, observed the morning pitch at 1 Million Cups/Northland and gave the following feedback to the student teams. 

  1. Suggested that students get picture(s) of library with users, and patient testimonials
  2. Ideally a very short video for final presentation of elderly person(s) talking about ease and value of tech.

Below is a picture of Kristen Buckingham securing guidance from two Polsinelli patent attorneys in the completion of a provisional patent for her new design of a colostomy bag and associated flange. 



Week 11:  October 6 – October 10

This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team was invited by Cerner to attend the UP America Summit. Students presented an early version of their ‘pitch’, including their technology application for CHF patients.  The audience was very curious and complementary of their progress, especially the way the students are gaining ‘user experience’ data with live patients.  Students networked with Start-up Tech companies from all over the nation, even met a participant from France and Puerto Rico.  

The morning student team received coaching from Elizabeth Hills, President of Informed Health Solutions, and her team of experts.  Students learned how readmission rates decrease approximately 35% with their business model, which educates patients after hospital discharge and build strong communities of patients that share the same chronic disease.  Elizabeth and her team also provided input into the morning tech student design of the app, feedback that will simplify the app for the user group.  Students will have the opportunity to visit one of the education & counseling sessions with CHF patients to test-drive their prototype and gain valuable user feedback.


Both morning and afternoon student teams practiced their ‘pitches’, ensuring that all team members had a meaningful, spoken role in the delivery.  They used the following five components to structure their ‘pitch’:


  1. Introductions & Statement of the Problem and size of the problem
  2. Empathy Statements/Personal Stories & User Experience Tests
  3. What is the product and how will it solve the problem?
  4. How we plan to test the prototype of the product with user groups?
  5. Description of next steps


The afternoon team received significant ‘pitch’ coaching from three outstanding mentors:

Jonathan Wagner, CEO of Big Bang

Beth Moore, UI/UX manager for Vin Solutions

Ravi Patel, CEO of Laplacian

On Thursday, October 9, a small group of students attended the event at Think Big hosted by Mozilla & KC Digital Drive are co-hosting an event based on your Gigabit Fund projects during Big KC.  Students pitched their technology solution to enable remote monitoring of CHF patients.


Week 10:  September 29- October 3 

This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team worked on refining their pitch and preparing for the October 9th event that Mozilla & KC Digital Drive are co-hosting based on Gigabit Fund projects during Big KC .

The morning student team tasked the Liberty Hospital and NKC Hospital students to summarize their interviews and observations concerning their ‘user experience’ work, especially their findings from the physician rounds students performed with Dr. Haideri at the Cameron Clinic, the patient survey work, and the outstanding ‘user experience work’ that was performed at the library interviewing 65+ age patrons.  

Programming has begun on the app and the entire team reacted to the technology team’s wire diagram, see below.

Under the engineering student’s leadership the business group of students is summarizing the research about the problem statement, how big is the problem, what is currently being performed to reduce readmission, and ‘why’ their solution is unique in the marketplace.

The afternoon student team split up to cover two areas of work; one group traveled to Liberty Hospital to observe three vendors in the Home Health Telemonitoring market; Cardiocom, Philips, Honeywell.  Students were asked to provide their input to the vendor’s presentation and demo. 

Fantastic mentors mentored the remainder of the afternoon student team: 

Jonathan Wagner, CEO of Big Bang, provided the students more coaching in prototyping a device embedded in a shoe to track weight and movement of CHF patients.

Beth Moore, UI/UX manager for Vin Solutions, coached the students in user interface and user experience; connecting the pieces of the comprehensive solution.  She also provided individual coaching for our young entrepreneur that is developing a Designer Colostomy Bag for children.

Elizabeth Hills, President of Informed Health Solutions, shared their solution to readmission of CHF patients that has reduced readmissions by 37%.  They build a community of the patients, with face-to-face meetings once a week for a month, creating successful patient transitions.

Check out her video

She also coached our young entrepreneur that is developing a Designer Colostomy Bag for children.

Jim Baxendale, Director of Whiteboard to Boardroom, spent time with our young entrepreneur that is developing a Designer Colostomy Bag for children, coaching her in the next steps with a provisional patent or a design patent.

Dr. Hussain Haidri will spend time with the morning Liberty and NKC Hospital students tomorrow to recap their rounds and a brief cardiology session, and basics of exam & history taking pertinent to CHF patients.


Week 8:  September 15-19

This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team worked on developing a framework for their final ‘pitch’ presentation.  They repeated their review of Derek Bereit’s Sprint Accelerator pitch, listening for discrete components and transitions in his pitch.  They identified the following framework:

  • Introduction of self
  • Name of Company
  • Name of Product
  • Short blast of “what the product does”
  • Transition to Empathy, Emotion, Personal Story (Attempt to show a picture of a person)
  • Statistics, Describe How Big the Problem is, What Readmission costs
  • Research Studies, what do they tell us? What is working?
  • Add the data collected from the patient/doc ‘user’ interviews
  • Screen shots to explain, simply, your product and solution
  • Who receives the notification of the data collected by your solution?
  • Logos of ‘who’ you have received mentoring from, e.g. KU Med, NKC Hospital, Liberty Hospital, etc.
  • Introduction and brag on your team
  • Describe next steps of what you plan to do going forward.

Students were made aware of the Mozilla & KC Digital Drive event based on the Gigabit Fund projects duringBig KC on Oct 9th 6 to 8pm @ Think Big Partners.  Students kicked it into high gear realizing this was an opportunity to practice their pitch.

The technology tools and devices arrived, which will drive technology students to take their storyboarded ideas and put them into the virtual world of apps.  The morning group concluded joining forces will provide enough manpower to develop their app.  The afternoon group has consolidated into 2 teams. The app development teams have joined forces but the sensor team is remaining focused on the ever evolving sensor.

Jonathan Wagner, CEO of BigBang, provided the students an excellent ideation support and has committed to help build a rough working prototype for demonstration purposes.

Northland CAPS Mentors—BIG THANK YOU!

This week the Liberty Hospital medicine students traveled to Camden Missouri to shadow Dr. Hussain Haidri, testing their prototypes with potential users to secure feedback.  Derek Bereit provided one-on-one mentoring for a NKC Hospital medicine student who is developing an entrepreneurial idea for gastrointestinal patients. 

Beth Moore, UI/UX manager for Vin Solutions, coached the students in user interface and user experience; connecting the pieces of the comprehensive solution.  She has committed to coach again next week, which is a huge asset to our students. 

Week 7:  September 8-12


This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team worked on a project plan for each Wednesday, leading up to the final pitch at the Sprint Accelerator on November 7, 2014.  (see the high level schedule below)

Team Meeting:  Project Planning

  • Review Interview Questions & Strategy
  • Materials for Purchase (Tech Team Review with others what is being purchased)
  • Brainstorm Ways of Remote Monitoring of Patients
  • What is currently on the market?, What is working?

  • Meeting Schedule --Wednesday
    • August 29 –Derek Bereit, User Experience and Brainstorming questions, where to find and interview users
    • September 3—Dr. Hussain Haidiri, Dr. David Voran, Kari Keefe
    • September 10—Gather feedback from users
      • Guests:  AM Dr. Hussain Haidiri, Steve Fennel, Jonathan Wagner, CEO of Big Bang, Ravi Patel, CEO of Laplacian
  • September 17—Use feedback to modify prototype, what worked, what did not work
  • September 24—Build prototype 
  • October 1-Build prototype & test
  • October 8-Team Pitch Practice
  • October 15—Refine Prototype
  • October 22-Finalize prototype and practice pitch
  • October 29 Practice Final Shark Tank Pitch
  • November 7 (Friday) –Perform Final Pitch at the Sprint Accelerator

Northland CAPS Mentors—BIG THANK YOU!

This week the medicine students received mentoring from Dr. Hussain Haidri, concerning the types of questions they should use to understand CHF patients, cardiologists, and nurse practitioners.  Many of the medicine students had an opportunity to discuss and test their rough prototypes with ‘live’ patients. 

Students also received mentoring from Steve Fennel, Director of Development, Medical Informatics, KU Med, Jonathan Wagner, CEO of Big Bang, and Ravi Patel, CEO of Laplacian.

Beginning with the end in mind, students reviewed and analyzed the Sprint Accelerator Pitch performed by Derek Bereit, CEO and Co-founder of Symptomly.  This review helped students understand the discreet components of a successful pitch, which they will deliver on November 7.

Week 6:  September 2-5

Project Accomplishments

This week the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team took up ‘shop’ at the Sprint Accelerator.  Every Wednesday, the Sprint Accelerator will be the huddle and collaboration space for the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project.  AM and PM students broke up into 3 teams that included students from medicine, engineering, business and technology.  Team Roles were designated and each team developed their own identity. 

Reviewing the lessons taught by Derek Bereit, CEO and Co-founder of Symptomly, the students developed the interview questions and strategy that they would use to gather information about their users: CHF patients, physicians and nurses.  Students also continued their ideation session to elicit many options for the usage of gigabit technologies that would ultimately reduce hospital readmissions of CHF patients.

Dr. Hussain Haidri, from Nephrology Associates, and Dr. David Voran, from Truman Medical Center, worked with the student teams to understand what it is like to be a CHF patient and what they have witnessed as the biggest cause for readmission.  Kari Keefe, Mozilla Community Catalyst, helped the student teams understand “What is gigabit technology?” and “What are the possibilities that gigabit technology provides?”

Student teams agreed that there would be collaboration between the individual teams, even though each team may have a different solution to the problem.  The student teams left the huddle with the following to-dos for next week’s collaboration:

1.  Procurement officer email Ms. Donna Deeds,, the current material needs for the team.  We will work to get those ordered as soon as possible.

2.  Determine your interview questions for the users, e.g. CHF patients, doctors, nurses.  If your team can figure out how to secure access to these people, proceed with interviewing.  

3.  Do your best to connect with your team members before Wednesday to develop a rough, rough prototype to bring to our next Wed. meeting.  

The final pitch for the Mozilla Grant Teams will be November 7 at the Sprint Accelerator.  More information will follow.

Week 5:  August 25-29

Project Accomplishments - Watch our students pitch their ideas HERE

This week we launched the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Student Team, including students from all four NCAPS Strands:  Medicine & Healthcare, Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing, Technology Solutions, Global Business & Entrepreneurship.  We have a morning and afternoon team of students and within the Technology Solutions group, they have designated a team lead, Kayla Purvis in the a.m. and Mikayla Honeycutt in the p.m. 

On August 29, the team ventured down to the Sprint Accelerator where Derek Bereit, CEO and Co-founder of Symptomly, used the principles of Human Centered Design, to lead the students through the first mode of the Stanford D School Design Thinking Process called EMPATHIZE. Empathy is the centerpiece of a human-centered design process. The Empathize mode is the work students will perform to understand the ‘user’, within the context of our design challenge. It is our effort to understand the way the users/customers do things and why, their physical and emotional needs, how they think about the world, and what is meaningful to them.  Performing empathy work will require students to connect with CHF patients and clinicians to seek their stories.

Derek helped the students brainstorm ways to gain access to the people who have CHF.  He also stated that the team must secure answers to the following:

  1. Do they own a SMART phone?  If they use apps, what are they using now?
  2. What type of access do they have with technology?
  3. Need to understand what it is like to be old and have CHF.
  4. Watch how they use the technology.
  5. Do customer validation, e.g. Derek hosted an Asthma Information booth at Operation Breakthrough, brought cookies, asked users what they thought about the app.
  6. Figure out UI and UX (user accessibility and user experience)
  7. Determine the features.
  8. Build a Mock Up on paper, then go back to the users for feedback.
  9. Find a way to get into Assisted Living Facilities to test out the mock up.

Kari Keefe, Community Catalyst KC from Mozilla, plans to instruct the students in the potential of gigabit technologies at the next Meet Up of the team.

Next Steps:

  • Students brainstorm ideas for devices and health monitoring tools.
  • Need a name for the project; what will be the Twitter handle?
  • Secure the Sprint Accelerator for face-to-face meetings every Wednesday.
  • Determine how we will share documents, communicate, blog, etc.
Week 4:  August 18-22

Project Accomplishments

This week we launched the Northland CAPS Mozilla Project Advisory Board of experts and our student team.  As a result of the launch meeting, we reviewed the project goal, project problem statement, essential questions, and high level project plan.  We still need to clarify project success metrics.

Plans were made for members of the Project Advisory Board to provide guest instruction beginning next week for the student team in the areas of:

  • Affordable Care Act (Dr. Samuel H. Turner, Diane Kipping)
  • Readmission Rates of CHF Patients, Current Interventions, and Results (Dr. Haideri)
  • Actual patient scenarios (Dr. Haideri, Diane Kipping)
  • Gigabit technologies and potential usage for telehealth (Kari Keefe)
  • Current market for remote monitoring in the field of medicine and healthcare (Steve Fennel)

Plans were made for a variety of tours and observations to support the Design Thinking Process of Discovery. 

  • Tours of CHF Clinics and conversations with clinicians and home health providers
  • Tours of Home health agencies and conversations with providers
  • Observation and conversation with patients
  • Demo of Gigabit technologies
  • Demo of Heart to Heart technologies
  • Tour of Sprint Accelerator to see Symptomly and learn about analyzing the user (patient) experience
  • Demonstration of SightDeckKC at Union Station
Week 3:  August 11-15

Project Accomplishments

To date, the NCAPS team has commissioned a Project Advisory Board of experts that will support, mentor, teach and facilitate student teams in the development of a suite of communications/monitoring/treatment tools for clinicians and high-risk patients.

Using Human Centered Design Thinking principles, the team has met with each of the experts uncovering the issues of readmission and the current state of telehealth practices. We met with CEO, Abhi Ray, from HeartToHeart Network, LLC to learn more about remote monitoring of patients. HeartToHeart provides a technology solution for Remote Patient Management that delivers meaningful and actionable information to the right people at the right time.  In a collaborative fashion, patients, clinicians and families receive timely information to improve the quality of life while significantly lowering healthcare costs.  Patients are informed of actions they can take to improve their condition.  Clinicians can make informed diagnostic decisions based on timely information. Families can monitor the well-being of their loved ones and assist in the recovery process, in real time, from anywhere. Their system is designed for post surgical and chronic illness patients at home.

Additionally, we met with Derek Bereit, CEO and Co-founder of Symptomly, which has developed a platform that is a clinically-validated, web-based dashboard, mobile app and communication portal for primary care providers and patients to effectively track patient-entered health symptoms. Its first product is eAsthma Tracker, a patient-entered data system for child asthma, developed by researchers at the U and Intermountain Healthcare’s Primary Children’s Medical Center. The platform has over $4 million in current and previous research — validating a reduction in child asthma re-admissions from 40 percent (nationally) to only 2.3 percent.

We have also located key cardiologists and nurse practitioners from Liberty Hospital and North Kansas City Hospital who are directly involved in CHF Clinics responsible for reducing readmission of CHF patients through telehealth and remote monitoring.