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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reflections on a Health Hackathon

After the first Health Hackathon experience, would I do another one?

The main take away message for me was that the ideas for a pitch/solution should be driven by real needs.  The idea should come from a real world community of healthcare practitioners/patients. I just tossed out some ideas and made a pitch out of one them. It would have been easier and maybe better if I had just attended and joined an interesting team.  That way, I could get experience observing just how these events are organized. I am grateful though that I was able to work on a pitch idea and have a few people interested in sharing the work.

I learned a lot on the weekend about IBM Bluemix, the FHIR standard for medical terminology transport, the skillfulness of the programmers at the event, and the care and consideration that teams brought to their projects to help people better their health. This latter was very inspirational for me. If I ever attend another event like this, I would give more attention to this.

I was also very impressed with how the event was organized, the low registration cost, the venue (Mohawk College library) the mentoring, coaching, and judging abilities. The cool jazz musicians at the beginning of the event was, well, cool!  That all helped remove the actual stress of making a pitch to others in the competition. Every team was a winner in my books.

The Health Hackathons would make a good ethnographic research project. Probably been done before, but while Health Hackathons are still active and up and running, there is still a possibility there I think.

The criteria for judging a winning pitch are the core disciplines of eHealth - business model, patient care impact, and technological feasibility.