When Hacking Health started in 2012 in Montreal, it would have been inconceivable that seven years later, it would have orchestrated 150 hackathon events. It will be the 58th Hacking Health hackathon in Canada across 18 cities since 2012.
The academic institutions of Hamilton and the synergistic network of facilities make it an ideal place to host this 150th Hackathon. Join us at McMaster Innovation Park on November 8-10.
150th Hackathon lands in Hamilton
“Today we are celebrating 150th Hacking Health Hackathon. What started as the Hacking Health experiment has shown that we can break down the barriers between technical experts who can build innovative technologies and the frontline healthcare practitioners who know which solutions can make an impact,” explains Danina Kapetanovic, Executive Director of Hacking Health Foundation. “In the process, we have not only overcome these barriers physically, but we have also built an international ecosystem of innovation in healthcare.”
Hamilton is home to internationally-recognized, research-intensive educational institutions, such as McMaster University and Mohawk College. The renowned centres of Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s provide outstanding care to people of all ages. The innovative ecosystem found in Hamilton supplies its community with the resources and opportunities required to transform ideas into prototypes. The Hacking Health Hamilton Hackathon will leverage expertise from different disciplines stemming from Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, Degroote School of Business, and Faculties of Engineering to encourage students to form interdisciplinary groups.
“Leveraging the strengths of the ecosystem in Hamilton, the Hackathon provides the time and space for an intense focus on health challenges with quick prototyping and development of potential solutions,” notes co-lead Cynthia Lokker.
Learn design thinking concepts
This Hackathon includes a design thinking workshop by guest Robert Fleisig, PhD, Associate Professor, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, at McMaster University. His presentation will start the Hackathon by encouraging students to solve the identified challenges using design thinking concepts. We are hoping that participants gain insightful knowledge to apply to their future experiences. Our mentoring sessions will be from 1-4 on Saturday with a varied group of mentors.
In the lead up to the Hackathon, we invited the community to attend a meetup on October 24, featuring Steve Pereira. A transformation expert/ business tech coach, Pereira took participants through a value stream exercise. Participants came from far and wide, including Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington and Waterloo, These skills can be applied to ongoing projects or new ones to pitch at our November Hackathon. He provided insights on how to transform your business ideas.
True hackathon impact
Yet, 150 is not the landmark metric; the measure of the impact of Hacking Health is the local level inspiration and projects. These Hackathons have inspired more than 1,500 projects and thousands of team members to be that little more entrepreneurial and strive to improve the social determinants of health in our societies. Being a member of a Hackathon team is fun and inspiring. If you are undecided read the experience of the Experify team here.
The Hamilton Chapter team is planning a January 2020 meetup at Mohawk’s new usability lab space, and we’re really hoping that we can test in a workshop way one of the solutions from the Hackathon. This will help drive the post hackathon continuation of keeping projects alive. That is the real point of these 150 Hackathons.
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