Med.Hack(+) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to bring together students, healthcare professionals, business leaders, and technologists to solve a diverse set of healthcare-related problems. Our planning team is comprised of hardworking and dedicated students from multiple universities and student groups at the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and other western Universities. Our board of directors includes health care professionals, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs.
Hackathons bring people together to intensively work on problems. Teams often build exciting software and hardware prototypes, but significant effort also goes into business, market, and policy discussions. Hackathons also involve a theme; ours is healthcare. These events challenge people to imagine what might be possible, and to take action to make it a reality. In only 48 hours teams recruit, work, and pitch their solutions. It is not uncommon for teams to formalize a new start-up company, or for our industry partners to recruit new talent.
How does a Hackathon work?
Friday night will kick off with a keynote speaker before participants are invited to give pitches on problems that they would like to solve. Teams will be formed as participants select the problem that most interests them. Saturday, teams will work on solving their selected problem with the help of professional mentors and event facilitators. There will also be breakout sessions held throughout the day, with talks held by experts in their field. Finally, on Sunday, teams will present their solution, whether it be new software or a prototype device, while evaluated by experts, for the chance to win various prizes.
Do I need an idea before I come to the event?
Absolutely not! Some pitches will be collected beforehand and other participants will have their opportunity to give their pitch Friday night! Come to the event and join a team focussed on hacking a solution to the pitch that most interests you!
What if I have a problem to pitch but I don’t know how to solve it?
Then the Hackathon is the right place for you! Facilitators will help you define your problem and then help you build a team that can solve the problem using a rapid development model that will help you define your challenge and identify a solution.
My problem is huge, is it too big for a hackathon solution?
Hackathons can tackle solutions to big and small problems and our team will work with you to focus on the most critical areas for which to build a solution.
I don’t work in health care; can I still participate in the hackathon?
Hackathons work best when they have participants from all aspects of life, business, technology and healthcare. Patients, business owners, investors, health care leaders, practitioners and builders all have a role to play in creating solutions that work! No matter your background, if you are interested in tackling issues in healthcare, we hope to see you there!
The Med.Hack(+) Impact
Since its inception, Med.Hack(+) has made a real impact in creating healthcare solutions.
Years of hackathons
In its 9 years since inception, Med.Hack(+) has held 8 hackathons (one of which was completely remote), not including this year's hackathon.
More than 35 different projects created
Over the various hackathons, more than 35 projects have been created that solve real healthcare problems.
On any given day there are 330 patients in Saskatoon that face medical-logistical barriers preventing their return to home hospital.
Pam attended the 2018 hackathon knowing that she had a problem to solve, but without having the technical acumen to even ask what is possible she still wasn’t sure why she came.
Within hours a team of engineers and product developers gravitated to Pam to help bring her vision to life. After 48 hours the team had produced a protype web app, a process improvement proposal, and a ready to go pitch for the SHA.
Pam left Med.Hack(+) confident that with the right team anything you can think of can be built. Three weeks later Pam pitched the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to fund and build her repatriation app. The SHA launched the app 9 months later, and rolled out 60 hospitals by August 2019.
The SHA repatriation app not only helps get patients home, but also captures data identifying recurring medical and logistical bottlenecks.
PatientPrep is a product that was born at our hackathon in 2014. The technology allows patients to enter their medical history and current concerns directly into their electronic health record in a user-friendly way. Since then, the team has won the University of Saskatchewan Tech Venture Challenge, the Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence i3 Idea Challenge, and they were accepted into the Blueprint Health accelerator in New York. Recently, their company sold the Canadian rights to their technology to QHR Technologies for $500,000 (QHR Technologies was a sponsor of the 2014 hackathon, where they first met this team while mentoring).* Over 7500 physicians will now have access to the PatientPrep platform.
The cofounder had had the idea for a long time about how to make his family practice work better—he just needed someone with the technical skills to help him build it.
Physical literacy is the development of skills and attitudes that lead to an active, healthy life.
Athlete Era uses technology including motion capture and augmented reality to improve physical literacy by building tools for physical education teachers and youth sport coaches.
The team at Athlete Era wrote their first lines of code at Med.Hack(+) 2016, and launched their first product 8 months later.
Since then, Athlete Era has joined a local tech incubator Co.Labs, and employs 9 people as 7 full time equivalents.
Athlete era is used by more than 6000 teachers, coaches, and students, and their customers include Football Canada, The Saskatchewan Roughriders, and a number of American school divisions.