I spent the weekend attending Product Forge’s Digital Health Hackathon – an event which brought together people from a number of disciplines including data science, software development, business and healthcare, with the aim of identifying and solving a problem in healthcare through the innovative use of data and technology. The hackathon itself was held over 3 days and it was a real pleasure to see so many people attending and willing to help make a difference in the healthcare space.
I had previously attended the Edinburgh Tourism Innovation challenge run by Product Forge and really enjoyed it, however this event was much larger and with a different industry focus so I was very excited for it. On the first evening, we participated in various introductory exercises to find out more about the different participants, and then we were given an hour to form teams between ourselves – allowing us to find people with complementary personalities and skill sets.
I was lucky enough to form a team with two really talented women: Elina Takala, a business student at Edinburgh University with a real interest in health and wellbeing and Brionna Wilson, who works in the healthcare industry and has an interest in developing wellbeing apps.
There were five different categories in which the teams could choose to identify a particular problem in and work towards building an idea or solution to help solve that challenge. These categories included:
- Wellness and wearables
- Precision medicine
- Data driven cancer care
- Urgent and emergency care
Our team, WellTech, decided to participate in the wellness and wearables track as it was the area which interested us most. We conceived an idea to help instil healthy habits in the areas of fitness, mindfulness and nutrition through an app which provided daily challenges that started out small and got progressively more difficult.
By gamifying the process and tracking progress it was hoped that users are more likely to stick with the app for long enough until these daily practices become habits. Support from UX guru, Wojtek Kutyla allowed us to create an easy to use and highly intuitive prototype app.
Here's a sneak peek of the prototype we managed to create over the weekend:
We didn’t win but overall it was a great experience meeting so many motivated individuals and getting to experience some of the great work and ideas that are happening within the digital health space in Scotland and beyond.
It's also given me some great ideas around how the team at xDesign can help drive innovation in the healthcare sector moving forwards in 2019.
You can find out more and how to get involved in the next Hackathon over on the Product Forge website: