20th July 2017
On the 15th – 16th July, the NHS held a Hack Day in Manchester for those who are interested in healthcare technology. Nick Pettican, part of our insights and planning team, went along to the event. Here is his blog split over the two days.
Our moment to shine
After a productive Saturday, we returned to pitch our product to the rest of the room. We’d managed to tie a few loose ends from the day before and although some team members couldn’t make it, we still felt confident. With just three minutes to showcase the product, we managed to spark lots of interest from the audience who definitely saw potential to carry the project on further. And In case you’re wondering: yes, we are going to carry it on! As far as we know, I will be assembling the software into a single automated algorithm, Joe will be managing the database, Ben will be working on the front-end and the rest will be given tasks as soon as we set up a Google group. Our goal is to help NHS Digital see the power of open sourcing and that their data needs to be cleaned, stored and shared more effectively.
“I’ll be back”
From chatbots to Bluetooth beacons, the level of work in the room was phenomenal. One team had developed an Alexa “teacher”, which was loaded with hundreds of medical questions to keep HCPs abreast of their medical education, while another team had created an app that would alert carers and social workers if their family member or patient fell or had any type of emergency, regardless if their phone was in silent mode. One team had created a simple web application to be used by HCPs on patients over 50 to record their cognitive function as well as their voice to find a correlation between a change in voice and the early onset of Alzheimer’s using machine learning and speech recognition analysis.
The day was testament to how open source and collaboration, no matter what the timeframe, can create some fantastic and inspirational work. If you want a day of fun, hard work and fulfilment then I encourage you to go to a hackathon (and you don’t have to be a developer!). One team actually saw a niche in the market and liked their idea so much that they are going to start a company to launch it. So, I hope you are curious enough to find out for yourself and I’ll see you at the next one!
To find out more about the day and how you can get involved, click here.