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Fostering Innovation with Hacking Health

Blog post by Alexandra Verzuh | Hacking Health Berlin

Hacking Health is a global movement to improve healthcare and fosters inclusive innovation by connecting people to solve real-world health problems. We have Chapters all around the world composed of volunteers who have come together to organize events and break down barriers to innovation in healthcare. Hacking Health’s desire is to drive impact, to focus on more action and less talk. By facilitating cross-disciplinary collaborations, we help generate creative solutions to real-world health challenges. Our methodology enables new ways to make the best ideas emerge and create a lasting impact.

Events & Hackathons

The Berlin Chapter has hosted a number of events ranging from hackathons and meetups to workshops, which have included diverse stakeholders from inside and outside the healthcare sector. Together, they address complex health challenges from a variety of perspectives, bringing fresh insights and helping us build new, innovative solutions.

During our events, we bring together patients, healthcare professionals, physicians, technologists, designers, entrepreneurs, decision-makers, business leaders, researchers, administrators, and governments to work collaboratively and resolve frontline health problems.

ThoughtWorks Hackathon

We partnered with software experts from ThoughtWorks, and held the first Healthcare Hackathon in Berlin, which focused on how using digital technologies can improve patient care. In five multidisciplinary teams, made of 25 experts from diverse professional backgrounds, participants generated innovative ideas to improve healthcare, worked on various healthcare challenges and competed in the hackathon.


Charité Hackathon

The Charité Hacking Health Berlin Hackathon, held at the Charité University Hospital, included 15 teams who created remarkable solutions for a wide variety of medical problems. The teams discussed health challenges, analyzed large amounts of data, as well as designed and created software and hardware tools to address medical issues. By the end of the hackathon, solutions against anxiety, depression, blood loss, diabetes, and many other health-related conditions were developed and presented at the final ceremony.


Hacking Female Health Hackathon

We organized a Hacking Female Health Hackathon, in cooperation with Fraunhofer Venture and the Berlin Institute for Health (BIH), a scientific institution part of the Charité University Hospital Berlin. The goal of the 48-hour hackathon was to create and implement concrete solutions for patient-oriented treatment options in healthcare for girls and women. Five different challenges were selected for the hackathon including breast cancer, infections of the female reproductive organs and urinary tract, endometriosis, female mental health and incontinence.


Learn more about our hackathons, meetups and workshops here.


Hacking Health Scientific Publications

Hacking Health has also developed scientific publications on hackathon topics to analyze its impact in healthcare innovation. For example, we created a case study in 2020 on hackathons as a stepping stone in healthcare innovation which was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

This case study describes preparatory steps and the performance of a health hackathon directly involving patients and healthcare professionals at all stages. This study shows that hackathons are effective in bringing innovation to healthcare and are more cost- and time-efficient and potentially more sustainable than traditional medical device and digital product development.

→ Read the full study here.

In addition, we created another case study in 2021 on the steps and methods employed in the conduction of a remote online health hackathon centered on challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to deliver a clear implementation road map for other organizations to follow. 

This study provides insights into how online hackathons can contribute to solving the challenges and effects of a pandemic in several regions of the world. The online format increases cross-regional collaboration, and can be executed much faster and at lower costs compared to in-person events.

Read the full study here.




Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts about our Hacking Health Berlin team. But for now, read our recent blog post about Advosense, a digital health startup that began at our Female Health Hackathon in 2018.


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by Alexandra Verzuh
Alexandra is a strong marcoms professional with a global focus and over ten years of international experience in communications, writing and marketing; widely travelled with a passion for healthcare, health tech, digital innovation and technology. She is also a Certified Transformational Coach with a BA in Psychology and an MSc in International Business Management.

Hacking Health BerlinFostering Innovation with Hacking Health