BAPRAS Hackathon 2019

5th November 2019


Do you even know what a Hackathon is?  Maybe you do – because the BAPRAS Innovation SIG group have hosted one for the past 3 years, but maybe you don’t, so just to explain…


A hackathon or “hack” is an event whereby people from all backgrounds (though traditionally tech based) come together to design a product to fit a specific brief over a short period of time.  Probably one of the most famous results of a hack which you may or may not love is the Facebook “Like” button. 


The BAPRAS Innovation group organised the 4th Annual Hackathon this year in October with the theme of Delivering Surgery.  The aim of the hackathon was to get teams to come up with ideas to solve problems that our surgeons face on a regular basis with respect to the logistics of delivering surgery including everything from how the kit is stored and managed to how the patients are tracked around the hospital.   The event was sponsored by Chevron TM and was hosted by PA consulting.  It was organised by Nathalie Fennell and Thomas Dobbs from the Innovation SIG.


Over 40 delegates from backgrounds ranging from medical student to computer coder and product designer were assisted by staff from PA consulting technology department, plastic surgery registrars and other logistics experts from across the UK whilst they developed their ideas over the weekend. 


The teams were challenged to come up with a 5 minute pitch for our judges which included a private investor from Angel Investment Network, the Chief Technology Officer for Chevron TM and a Director of Healthcare from PA consulting.  The winning teams (who inspired Chevron TM to put in more money there and then for the prizes of £1000 each) designed a new way to map the development of pressure sores by adapting some gaming technology and a fascinating printable tag for wristbands which allowed patients to be tracked throughout the hospital thus automatically updating a smartphone based patient list.


The event was rated very highly by our sponsors and our hosts, both of whom hope to develop their relationships with BAPRAS.  This was an excellent weekend which provided doctors with the opportunity to work with people from amazing backgrounds to come up with solutions to problems they may have always faced. We would love to see more doctors attend this event next year and are keen to hear your suggestions for a theme. 


If you would like to read the full report from the Hackathon please feel free to contact Nathalie at


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