A hackathon for healthcare is a great way to harness the power of multidisciplinary collaboration to create great ideas and products that cater to the needs of healthcare workers and patients alike.
Start by figuring out what type of project you want to do and your goals for the hackathon. Read on to see some hackathon ideas for healthcare that you can use as a jumping-off point.
With those ideas, you can create solutions to a variety of challenges. By shaking up your company’s way of doing things for a few days, your company can see long-term benefits.
What is a Healthcare Hackathon?
A healthcare hackathon brings together several experts in the healthcare field so they can work together to come up with solutions to the issues with healthcare.
The exact structure and make-up of a hackathon can vary, but the events generally take place over a few days and include participants such as nurses, clinicians, business people, patients, designers, and engineers.
By having people from different disciplines engage with each other, unique, multidisciplinary solutions are the result. Small groups come up with some hackathon ideas for healthcare, pick one, and execute it.
12 Cool Hackathon Ideas for Healthcare
Creating a brilliant healthcare hackathon project starts with picking a fantastic, viable hackathon idea for healthcare.
There are many areas of the healthcare profession that can benefit from tools specifically catered to them. Use these ideas as-is or let them inspire you.
- In-Hospital System Change
While many solutions developed during hackathons are often apps, you can also formulate new structures or systems for a hospital or clinic that are more analog. This can include systems for managing schedules or streamlining patient care.
- Pregnancy Symptom Tracker
For many first-time mothers, knowing what is normal can be difficult. A pregnancy symptom tracker can help parents understand what is and is not normal. You can also use this tool to provide parents with comfort and teach them what to expect. This tracker can focus on the mother's health and the baby's health during the fourth trimester.
- Communication Aid
Many communities require adjustments for communication to work for them regarding their health. For example, devices and apps exist for non-verbal people, while apps exist that help blind people complete tasks. (https://www.bemyeyes.com/)
Translation services can come in handy for those who speak a different language than their healthcare provider. Consider what groups may require more accessibility in your community and work on ways to turn this hackathon idea for healthcare into reality.
- Healthcare Provider Relaxation App
Being a healthcare provider can be exhausting, and a tool that specifically catered to the needs of different healthcare providers could be of great benefit. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34679110/)
Allow the tool to be shaped by the various schedules of the healthcare worker who uses it. Provide options for relaxation and refocus or even some fun activities.
- Pill and Medication Trackers
For many patients, keeping track of all their medications can be difficult. In some cases, failure to take medications properly can put a patient’s life in danger.
By developing an easy-to-use app, you can help many patients. For patients that are not comfortable with technology, you can also create a paper-based system.
- Child Health App and/or Activities
Often, when children feel sick they can have trouble communicating what exactly feels off. By creating an app specifically designed with children in mind you can provide a channel of communication between children and adults and teach children about their health. This is another hackathon idea for healthcare that could be made into a more analog set of activities. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23378054/)
- Mental Health Tool
There are many different angles from which you could approach the development of a mental health tracking tool. You can make a fun app that helps users keep track of their daily emotions, or you could make a curriculum that teaches parents and children about mental health together.
You may consider including a way to track mental health symptoms with physical symptoms since these two areas are inextricably connected.
- Healthcare Knowledge Game
There are a few different audiences that you could pick from when you create a healthcare knowledge game. Children and adults alike may enjoy learning more about their health through fun means.
For example, you could make a game to teach leukemia patients about how immunotherapy treatments work, or you could create a game that helps adults recognize different skincare illnesses.
You could even create a trivia game that both providers and patients can enjoy. These games could be apps, card games, or board games. (https://www.ahrq.gov/health-literacy/improve/precautions/tool3d.html)
- Physical Therapy Booklet
Physical therapy can be a challenging undertaking, and sometimes it can be tough to stick to exercises. Patients may need physical therapy for several reasons, including stroke recovery, sports injuries, and osteoporosis.
Develop a booklet with physical therapy exercises and designed with accountability and consistency in mind. This hackathon idea for healthcare can also work as an app. (https://guide.apta.org/)
- Diagnosis Tools
This project will rely on a fair amount of knowledge of diagnosis of whatever condition you choose to make a tool.
The medical practitioners on the team may have specific equipment they wish was more optimized, so an engineer on the team can help them find a way to change or replace that tool so that an illness or condition can be better diagnosed for patient care.
- Donation Aid
Use the hackathon to truly help your community or a community in a different part of the world. Collaborate to create a system that makes it easier to locate and distribute healthcare supplies in the community.
For example, you could create a database that tracks the availability of face masks and first aid supplies. This database could allow charities to help distribute help to communities in need.
- Something Company-Specific
Every company has its own unique set of challenges. A hackathon is an opportunity to work hard to find solutions to those challenges. Perhaps your company could use a virtual assistant or a blog.
A hackathon can be the perfect time to pump out a project like that to ensure that your company operates more smoothly. At the very least, this could be the first step towards better optimization for your company.
Goals of Running a Healthcare Hackathon
While the primary goal of running a healthcare hackathon may seem to be creating solutions, you can approach your hackathon with many additional goals in mind.
These goals may apply to the final outcomes of the event, or they may be goals for how the event progresses. Many of these goals may impact the activities of the company beyond the event itself.
Building a great solution, tool, or system is the ultimate goal of a hackathon. The solution does not need to be a finished product, but it must be close to finished. This may be an app, website, curriculum, or streamlining system.
The beauty of the hackathon is that you can create a product very quickly, so you do not fall into procrastination.
A vital goal of any hackathon is the creation of an atmosphere that allows everyone to feel welcome and like they can collaborate on their creative ideas. This will set everyone up for successful outcomes and an enjoyable working environment.
This goal is especially important, given the number of different types of thinkers that participate in a hackathon.
Even if a final product does not necessarily get produced, the environment of a hackathon can still go a long way towards helping people approach their jobs, still thinking of what they discussed at the hackathon.
After starting these conversations at the hackathon, many people find they continue discussions at work and in other areas of their lives.
Different Perspective Comprehension
A hackathon is a wonderful opportunity for people to experience and understand the perspectives of different areas of the healthcare world. By participating in a hackathon, many people come out with a greater appreciation for people in different positions than their own.
This understanding allows more well-rounded interactions and solutions in their daily lives. This yields better patient outcomes and hopefully ongoing collaboration.
Hackathons provide participants with the opportunity to make something that truly helps people. A well-done project can develop corporate hackathon ideas for healthcare into viable solutions for real-world problems.
Hackathon projects can be open-source, which means that they are available to anyone who wants to access them. Use these tools to engage with the community that your company is in. Strong community bonds can help the businesses in that community and the residents.
Do not underestimate the importance of having fun during a hackathon! While all the other goals are important, it can be hard to be productive if there is not some fun happening at the hackathon.
Projects that come from people who have fun and are passionate about effective solutions are often very well motivated. What is the point of having an event like this if not for something unique and fun?
Benefits of Hosting a Healthcare Hackathon for Your Company
The most apparent benefit to a hackathon is the products or solutions that a hackathon yields, but there are plenty of other ways that a healthcare hackathon can benefit your company and your employees.
Many of these benefits seem a bit intangible, however, they can end up helping your business be more successful in very concrete ways. A hackathon can make your company more productive and more tight-knit.
Creates Functional Solutions
A clear benefit of a hackathon for healthcare is that you can end up with great solutions to various challenges in the healthcare space. These can help the area they aim to fix run more smoothly.
They can also raise your company’s profile as an agent of problem-solving and optimization in the community and the healthcare sector. Hopefully, as solutions develop, this inspires the development of more problem-solving.
Encourages Creative Thinking
Those who participate in a hackathon are challenged to think creatively in ways they may not normally explore. Formulating and executing hackathon ideas for healthcare is a great way to practice creativity.
Exercising creativity makes your employees happy and leads to unique results for your company. Creative problem solving is not only fun, but it is also highly effective at helping you out of a rut.
If you want that kind of thinking at your company, hosting a hackathon can be a great way to encourage it.
Promotes a Multidisciplinary Approach
By bringing together many different disciplines to develop solutions to issues in the healthcare industry, your company is encouraging a multidisciplinary way of approaching problems.
This can help your employees think of issues beyond the hackathon in a similar way. Think of all that your company could accomplish if your employees worked together to consistently solve problems.
Highlights New Voices
A hackathon is a wonderful opportunity to hear more from people in your company who may not often contribute to decision-making. Employees at all levels may have different perspectives that someone at the top may not see without guidance.
Take a hackathon as an opportunity to encourage feedback about the company itself and see if solutions can fix issues at various levels of the company.
Increases Team Building
A strong company atmosphere is vital for productivity and the development of creative solutions. A hackathon can be a great way to encourage team-building among the employees of the company.
This is because this event helps people experience what it feels like to collaborate with people they do not normally work with in ways that they are perhaps not used to working.
Plan a hackathon soon for a different approach towards making creative solutions. By developing hackathon ideas for healthcare into well-developed solutions, a short event can have long-term results for many groups involved in the healthcare industry.
From patients to nurses to insurance providers, everyone can benefit from solutions that are created at a hackathon. These events can fulfill many goals, both in terms of creating solutions and building relationships across disciplines.
Companies that throw a hackathon also find that their employees reap many benefits from these events and these benefits can last far past the short length of the hackathon.
If you’re ready to get started with organizing your hackathon, contact us. Our team is ready to help you!