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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Hackathon – What is it and how do you prepare?

     Hackathon competitions provide an opportunity for individuals or small teams to create quick turn-around concepts or solutions to large and complex problems.  Solutions can be new ways of interacting with data through visualizations, creating easy-to-consume interpretations and uses of diverse sets of data, or collaboratively investigating a problem. These competitions give a short period of time (typically 24- 48 hours) to discover, design and build whatever you can to help address the challenge problem or topic.

     The focus for the inaugural National Health Equity Hackathon in Austin, TX October 19-21 is broad but with a few areas of highlighted interests from the event’s sponsors, issues such as Addiction (Opioid Crisis, Alcohol, Tobacco), Obesity, Women’s Health and Health Care Access. Themed events such as this also attract Subject Matter Experts – in this case, health economists, leaders in population health or health policy, and other healthcare experts. At the event, more data may be made available to team.

     Participants can prepare as much (or as little) as they want prior to the Hackathon, though to truly get the “hackathon experience” showing up with only your laptop, Red Bull and creativity should be done at least once in your career. The experience is similar to a normal project, except what would normally occur over weeks or months is compressed into hours or a weekend.

     SBD is sending a select team of health data researchers, developers, visualization experts, and user experience designers to Austin. We’re all eager to meet with the mentors and MedTech experts and participate in community-driven innovation.

By Jackie Tatge

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