Health-focused hackathons bring together people from diverse backgrounds to solve problems in the health field. These events are an excellent way for people who have special skills and knowledge to use their talents to work on projects that will improve human health.

Health hackathons are great for people looking to get into the world of hacking because they take you through all the essentials. With guidance from experienced mentors, many health hackathon events also offer workshops teaching skills to help attendees develop their projects afterward.

If any companies or organizations are looking to improve their products, holding a health hackathon can provide an opportunity to learn about what your customers want before spending time and money on development.

What is a health hackathon?

A health hackathon is a weekend-long event where people with expertise in software development, design, business, and other areas come together to find solutions to problems around the world of health. Some health hackathons focus on a particular disease or condition, while others take a general approach.

Types of health hackathons

There are different types of health hackathons depending on what they try to achieve. Some are centered around social good, while others are focused on developing new technology to sell commercially.

Mental health hackathon

A mental health hackathon is an event where people with expertise in software development, design, business, and other areas come together to create technology that will help improve the mental health of individuals. These hackathons can take on a variety of formats depending on the event's goals.

Nurse hackathon

One of the most popular types of health hackathons is a nurse hackathon, which brings together nurses to learn how to use technology in their practice. These events are hosted by companies looking to sell their products or other organizations that want to improve upon existing technology for healthcare professionals.

Animal health hackathon

Finally, an animal health hackathon is an event where people work to develop technologies that will help improve the welfare of animals. These can include projects to increase awareness around animal mistreatment, new ways to track the location of pets, and many other areas of interest.

Benefits of organizing a healthcare hackathon

There are many benefits to organizing a health hackathon. These events can be a great way to get a feel for what people want from technology in the healthcare field and provide an opportunity for your organization to network with potential customers and collaborators.

Can help improve upon existing technology for healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals are always looking for new ways to improve their practice. A nurse hackathon, for example, is an excellent way for companies to get feedback on their products while also getting the chance to explain how they work to potential clients.

Can provide an opportunity to network with customers and collaborators

Since health hackathons bring together people from all backgrounds, they are an excellent place for organizations looking to increase their reach. These events are also a chance for your business to connect with potential collaborators on new projects that can improve existing products or expand into new areas of health.

Provide an opportunity for networking with customers and collaborators

Health hackathons can be a great place to meet potential clients and collaborators. Health hackathons are also a chance for your organization to increase its reach by connecting with people across the health industry. In addition, health hackathons can be a great place to learn about what your customers want from your products and how they can use those products to improve their practice.

How to run a medical hackathon: A full 12-step guide

To run a medical hackathon, there are several steps you should take before the event begins.

Step 1: Understand why you want to organize a medical hackathon

Before organizing a health or nurse hackathon, it is crucial to understand why you want to organize this event. If you are looking to get feedback on your products, for example, a nurse hackathon might be a better option than a general health hackathon.

Step 2: Figure out what type of healthcare hackathon you want to have

Once you have decided why you want to hold a health or nurse hackathon, it is time to figure out what sort of event you would like to have. These can take on different formats depending on what they will achieve and the participants involved. For example, if you work with veterinarians, an animal health hackathon might be the right choice.

Step 3: Find potential collaborators

One of the best ways to find potential participants for your healthcare hackathon is by finding organizations that already work in the field. These companies should have some insight into what their customers need and help guide how to put together a successful event.

Step 4: Discuss the healthcare hackathon with your collaborators

Once you have figured out what event you would like to host, it is time to start talking to potential collaborators. These organizations should be able to provide insight into the types of projects undertaken in their field and how they might benefit from a hackathon.

Step 5: Develop a list of topics/work areas that will be discussed at the medical hackathon

After discovering what potential collaborators are working on projects, it is time to create a list of topics for participants to discuss during the health or nurse hackathons. This list can help guide your participants as they work on new products throughout the event.

Step 6: Decide on a date for the medical hackathon

Once you have developed a list of potential topics, it is time to decide on a date for your health or nurse hackathon. It takes about four months to plan a proper healthcare hackathon from beginning to end, so schedule accordingly.

Step 7: Plan a budget for the healthcare hackathon

The proper budget can make a health or nurse hackathon run more smoothly. However, consider that more participants will cost more money and result in a better turnout.

Step 8: Promote your medical hackathon on social media and through other channels

Without promotion, it is unlikely you will get enough people to participate in your health or nurse hackathon. A strong marketing campaign can help reach potential collaborators and show them the benefits of participating in this event.

Step 9: Develop an agenda for the health hackathon

Once you have figured out how much it will cost to hold your healthcare hackathon, it is time to start planning. When organizing a medical hackathon, most people begin by creating a plan. This list of topics should be distributed to participants before they arrive to prepare their ideas in advance.

Step 10: Send reminders leading up to the health or nurse hackathon

Another thing organizers of medical hackathons can do is send reminder emails before the event begins. Reminders can help participants remember what they are working on during the event and give them updates about any changes leading up to the hacking portion of the program.

Step 11: Provide food at the health hackathon

One of the simplest things you can do to make a healthcare hackathon run more smoothly is to provide food. This will help keep your participants energized and focused throughout the event.

Step 12: Keep track of all assets developed during medical or nurse hackathons

After your healthcare or nurse hackathon, it is time to reconvene and discuss everything that was created during the event. Make sure everyone has a chance to present what they have been working on and gather feedback from their peers. This is a great way of showing off new ideas or concepts, so you should take photos or record videos of your presentation for marketing purposes.

Common mistakes to avoid when hosting health hackathons

If you are hosting a health hackathon and want to ensure the event is a success, it is essential to avoid these common mistakes.

Not setting goals for your healthcare hackathons

When organizing a medical hackathon, it is essential to have an objective. Without goals, you are unlikely to have any success. In addition, setting goals before the event starts will help guide participants in their decision-making throughout the hacking portion of the program.

Not using proper speakers during healthcare hackathons

Organizers of health or nurse hackathons should always hire speakers that can enlighten participants about what they are doing wrong and improve their products. Experts in the field will provide helpful insight for potential applications while also demonstrating why your healthcare hackathon is relevant.

Having too many or too few people at your healthcare hackathon

It is important to remember that more participants do not always mean better results. Too many people can make managing the projects in progress challenging, while too few participants may not generate enough conversation around your healthcare hackathon topics. To ensure this doesn't happen, be sure to send out invitations to participants in advance and only accept several genuinely interested people.

Not properly promoting your healthcare hackathon

For a health or nurse hackathon to have any chance at success, participants must be informed about what is going on. It takes a lot of planning and promotion to get the word out there about a medical hackathon in a way that can reach potential collaborators. Therefore, if you want your health or nurse hackathon to succeed, you will need solid plans for advertising in place well before the event starts.

Putting in little or no effort to help participants network with each other

As the organizer, you are likely connected to many different professionals that can provide insight into their fields. Take this opportunity to put these contacts in touch with one another so that they can form business relationships during your health or nurse hackathon.

Not using a proper venue for your medical hackathons

To host a successful healthcare hackathon, you must use a place where everyone can comfortably share new ideas and discuss potential applications for them. If you use a space that is too small, has poor acoustics, or is too crowded, participants may not feel they can indeed be themselves. To get a proper venue, check out your local colleges or universities to see if they have any large rooms available for rent.

Including too few sponsors during your health hackathon

Sponsors are a vital part of any medical hackathon. They provide the necessary funding to make sure everyone can attend, and they distribute information about their companies throughout the event. When choosing sponsors for a healthcare hackathon, it is essential to look for those that have similar goals as you do, share your vision for future patient care, and understand why a particular product would benefit them if successful.

5 inspiring health hackathon ideas

There are many health and wellness ideas for hackathon projects. A few examples of health hackathon projects include:

  • Creating more comfortable orthopedic shoes for active people
  • Developing an app to find the nearest healthcare provider when in need
  • Creating interactive videos that can educate children about important health topics
  • Developing a screen saver that monitors blood pressure periodically throughout the day
  • Designing a better wheelchair cushion, so patients with limited mobility have more comfort throughout their daily lives    

Looking for a good hackathon platform to organize your medical hackathon? Try is an all-inclusive hackathon platform that can help you manage everything from start to finish. Whether you are looking for sponsors, speakers, or even where to hold your medical hackathon, provides it all at no cost. Our experienced team of hackathon organizers will provide advice on where and when your hackathon should be held, so participants have access to the tools they need to create successful ideas.

Final points

Running a global health hackathon can be an enriching experience for everyone involved. Not only do you get to work with like-minded individuals on developing innovative healthcare solutions, but you also get to see your project come to life.

As the organizer, it is essential to remember some key points: make sure participants are informed about the event in advance, put in the effort to help them network with each other, use a proper venue, and include sponsors that share your vision. If you follow these tips, your health hackathon is guaranteed to succeed.

If you’re ready to get started with organizing your hackathon, contact us. Our team is ready to help you!