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Communications of the ACM

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Stanford's First Health++ Hackathon Brings Health Care Innovators Together

health++ Hackathon participants

Participants in Stanford's health++ Hackathon created a design, app, or business plan and presented prototypes during the event.

Credit: Rachel Leslie / Stanford University

Stanford University's inaugural health++ Hackathon involved participation from 257 students, faculty, health professionals, designers, and entrepreneurs to create new technologies and long-lived partnerships. Their challenge was to create — from concept to prototype — a design, software application, or business plan to improve healthcare affordability and access within 36 hours. Stanford professor Oliver Aalami says the goal of the hackathon was to foster much-needed interdisciplinary collaboration to realize healthcare technology projects.

"Traditionally I think hackathons appeal the most to engineering students — but the design school and business school have been super-excited as well," says Stanford computer science major and event organizer Sherman Leung.

The hackathon's grand prize was won by the designers of a pill bottle sticker that boosts prescription label accessibility to the visually impaired, by having a unique pattern that smartphones can read aloud. Projects were judged according to their problem-solving potential and deployment feasibility.

Organizers say the goal is not to create a finished product, but to generate a starting point for future advances. "We hope the Hackathon can serve as a launching pad, sparking future collaborations and getting people from all departments thinking about healthcare innovation," says Stanford undergraduate Jason Wang.

From Stanford University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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