“I really felt the hackathon was incredibly well organised and enjoyable. We were surrounded by positive people looking after us and helping us the whole time and even before the results were known, the experience definitely made me want to take part in more of these kinds of hackathons in future.”
(J.H., Hackathon participant)
This year, the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) hosted its first hackathon, jointly organised with EIT Health and with the organisational support of PROIDEA. A hackathon nurtures competition built upon collaboration and aims for an acquisition of knowledge, which is expected to bring forward new ideas. The application call was open to anyone interested in developing innovative solutions for health-related problems.
The selected thirty-five participants, with different backgrounds and coming from 18 European countries were divided into seven teams and given 36 hours to develop an innovative solution to a problem defined by a group of experts.
On Tuesday, before the official start of the hackathon, a group of 20 experts convened to define the challenge to be given to the participants. At the end of an intensive and productive discussion, the challenge chosen was: “How to prevent injuries and deaths caused by alcohol misuse among young people?”
The seven teams started working intensively as soon as they received the challenge. Throughout the process, they received guidance and input from different mentors, who helped them to further develop their ideas. The teams made use of the 36 hours as much as possible, also working throughout the night, to deliver their projects in time. The teams competed fora clear final goal: winning either the jury prize of €15.000 and a EIT Health bootcamp participation or the audience prize of €10.000.
On Thursday, the teams had a chance to present their projects in front of the hackathon jury, composed of: Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Katharina Ladewig, Claudia Maier and Nuno Viegas. The jury examined the submitted projects and evaluated the team presentations according to the following criteria: innovativeness and feasibility of the idea, its impact on health and financial sustainability. As a result of the jury evaluation, the three teams with the highest scores were invited to present their projects during the Friday closing plenary of the EHFG 2018.
GoBot, the project which won the jury prize and the bootcamp participation, is – as described by its developers – “a chatbot solution that assists young people while partying and makes sure that everybody gets home safely. GoBot relies on three pillars that make it attractive for the target group (15-29-year-olds): connecting them in a short-term social network, keeping an eye on the user, and incentivising responsible behaviours with in-app discounts”.
Alco-Drops, winner of the audience prize, is – as framed by its inventors – “an innovative educational experience which provides a simulated story with multiple real-life scenarios showing the dangers of alcohol misuse. The experience will be provided to pupils (11-16-year-olds), in a classroom setting, using virtual reality glasses, an omnidimensional treadmill and a smart suit, which will stimulate all senses barring taste virtual reality technology”.
The third finalist project, Ride for Ride (R4R), is “a digital platform that encourages social responsibility by giving young people who have been drinking the option to be driven home safely without having to pay money. The driver, most likely another young person, receives a service rating and digital tokens, that can be later used for a future free ride or for discounts on campus.”
Congratulations to the winners and to all participating teams! We are looking forward to finding out more about the further development of your brilliant ideas!
Many thanks to our partners and sponsors EIT Health, the PROIDEA team: Maciej,Tomasz, Olga, Aleksandra and Alicja, the experts that took part to the workshop, the dedicated mentors and all the participants that made this first EHFG hackathon a success!
This Blog was written by Sara Barooty.