Hackathon 2017: Event roundup

2nd November 2017


The BAPRAS Innovation SIG Healthcare Hackathon was hosted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at its London headquarters on 8/9th October. The aim of the event was to help develop solutions to a chosen problematic area of healthcare. Hackathons, originally the brainchild of Silicon Valley, bring together people from differing fields in one place. The best results are often derived when radically diverse participants are brought together for a compressed period of time. Our event saw 70 invited delegates from a wide variety of backgrounds including coders, designers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and plastic surgeons. We asked our competitors to focus on solutions to problematic areas of healthcare. As an added incentive, our teams competed for a £1000 BCG seed investment to help bring their idea to life.

The weekend began with an introductory speech by Innovation team leader, Ryan Kerstein and was then followed by a ‘speed-dating’ style ‘getting to know you’ session which allowed our budding innovators to introduce themselves and their particular skills. Our delegates then formed into six teams based on the problems that they were interested in solving. 

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly teams gel and begin to develop novel solutions to their chosen problem. This year, the problems and solutions addressed were:
Team Yara
Team Yara -  A text based messaging system to improve vaccine uptake in Nigeria

Team Doctorgram
Team Doctorgram: Developed a solution to improve the consenting process using images that can be annotated in real-time during a patient consultation and included in a patient’s notes. 


Team Kai
Team Kai: Developed a solution to improving ‘personal wellness’ using wearable technologies. 

Team Loop
Team Loop: Developed a solution which would improve rehabilitation and augment patient reported outcome data with real-time information initially transmitted from a physical device but subsequently an augmented reality product.

Team Get Ready
Team Get Ready: Developed a system using digital technology that would prepare patients for theatre via a virtual pre-op assessment system.

 At the end of Day 2, our teams pitched their ideas to five judges, including John Gooch and Johannes Thoms, Partners from BCG’s Healthcare practice; Simon Withey, President of the British Association Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS); Shashank Desmukh a serial entrepreneur and lecturer in entrepreneurship. The final judge was Professor Shafi Ahmed, the ‘Virtual Surgeon’ who last year performed the world's first live operation using Snapchat Spectacles. As a nod to his pioneering ways, the virtual surgeon became a virtual judge as he scrutinized the presentations 40,000 feet over the Middle East. 

Judges for the BAPRAS Innovation Healthcare Hackathon. From left to right: Johannes Thoms, John Gooch, Shashank Desmukh, Simon Withey and Professor Shafi Ahmed (not pictured).

After a tense wait while our judges conferred; Team Hear.me, were our winners with their project focusing on diagnosing depression using simple vocal biomarkers such as voice pitch, tone and volume. 

On delivering the £1000 prize John Gooch, described all the ideas as truly exciting and visionary, but said the Hear.me stood out as a game changing idea that could disrupt a huge area.

Peter Kalu,
Communications Lead, Innovation Specialist Interest Group of BAPRAS.


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