The University of Newcastle, Australia

Hackathon lands solutions to world problem

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Timed to (accidental) perfection after the challenges of the Aged Care sector were highlighted in the Federal Budget on 8 May, the NeW Futures Hackathon for Aged Care attracted strong participation and interest from staff, students, industry and the community.

Hackathon Winners
The winning Hackathon team, Careflex, with the judges.

With a total of 34 participants, seven teams embarked on a 10 hour hack at NeW Space (11 – 12 May 2018) to evolve their ideas into a viable, technological solution to address the implications of the world’s ageing population.

The winning team – Careflex, comprising of multi-disciplinary professionals in medicine, home care provision, technology and personal carers - Clarissa Sagi, Alyssa White, Ashkay Gupta, Ankit Kapoor and Joshua Landus, was awarded $3000 and will receive a three month residency at the University’s Three76 Innovation Hub with specialist mentorship.  You can read more about the winning teams here

Hackathon judges were Joseph McCarthy, CEO, Novacare; Dr Mark Flynn, Executive Director, UON’s Global Impact Cluster for Better Health, Healthcare; and Dr Yolanda Surjan, UON Senior Lecturer and innovator. Teams were supported by a number of domain experts and mentors including Dr Sharyn Hunter, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery (Nursing).

“Having been on the other side and pitching my ideas/research to many a panel, I could fully appreciate not only the enormity of the effort the teams invested in their final presentations but the driver that led them there – to make a positive impact and change how our community care for our elderly,” Dr Yolanda Surjan said.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the judging panel and watch Newcastle teams shine, once again,” she said.

Dr Sharyn Hunter also enjoyed the experience in her role as a mentor.

"The hackers were enthusiastic and very perceptive," Sharyn said.

"I was able to help them refine their thinking to ensure their product would suit aged care," she said.

Manager, I2N Operations and Programs and Hackathon Co-ordinator, Siobhan Curran, said the event was a great success and the energy and commitment of the teams really carried it along.

“Saturday was a long day, but the quality of the output from each team showed no evidence of fatigue,” Siobhan said.

“It is really exciting to watch multidisciplinary collaboration in action and I look forward to seeing the winning team develop their idea further during their time at Three76 Hub,” Siobhan said.

Following on from the success of this event, another Hackathon around Augmented Reality is in the works for October.

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