News
‘Health Hack NI’ event in City Hall to see `marathon` software coding challenge
10 October 2012

Belfast and London – 10th October, 2012 – A major event bringing together clinicians, software developers, students and entrepreneurs is to take place in the City Hall this December aimed at producing high quality software that improves health.

Health Hack NI is based on a series of successful NHS Hack Days which have been hosted in other UK cities such as London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The event in Belfast on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December is being led by Kainos with support from Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) and EMC.

It will involve clinicians (which include consultants, GPs, nursing staff and NHS managers) sharing ideas with software developers, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs and students, to help devise mobile phone apps and the use of high speed internet technology to expand access and quality of care to the local community. One of the key tasks of the weekend in December will involve working on a `marathon` 26 hours of software coding.

Tom Gray from Kainos, said: “Health Hack NI is a chance for enthusiastic and motivated healthcare and technology professionals to work together, in an informal environment, to improve healthcare in the province. Our hope is that healthcare professionals will come with problems, challenges and good ideas that may benefit from the creative application of technology.

“Technology professionals will bring their skills, knowledge of current and emerging technologies, and a desire to apply these to help solve some thorny healthcare problems. The technology professionals will choose a particular problem or idea they would like to work on and will collaborate with the healthcare professionals over an inspiring weekend.

“The result should be a technology prototype – that may form the basis of later development. If all goes according to plan, the event should be richly rewarding for all concerned.”

Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Development Committee, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event in December alongside Kainos and our other partners. It is a flagship event that links with our Super-Connected Belfast initiative – a multi-million investment which will transform our city’s digital infrastructure and offer businesses and communities’ right across the city faster and more reliable broadband speeds.

“Faster broadband connections will not only create economic growth and job opportunities but provide a major opportunity to transform our healthcare system, exploiting digital technology to support in-community care seamlessly with acute care. Access to high-quality high-speed digital communications can be used to deliver care services such as remote health monitoring or video-phone links to GPs or health specialists which enable older residents to stay independent for longer and in their own homes.”

The event is open to all healthcare and technology professionals. To register for the event and for further information on Health Hack NI Belfast, go to the website . Closing date for applications is 23 November 2012.

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