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24 July–2 August 2020, online

HealthHack will be held online this year over the last weekend of July and first weekend of August, and will be open to anyone, anywhere in Australia.

The free hackathon has in the past been held over one weekend in Brisbane’s CBD. It has brought researchers, students and healthcare professionals together with software developers, educators, engineers, designers and other scientists to create innovative solutions to important healthcare and medical research problems.

The online event will be held over two weekends, as the HealthHack website explains: “HealthHack is  barely enough time when everyone is in the same room let alone all working from home, so we are giving teams a little extra time to get their remote working setup going.

“This is the first time we’re running this remotely but we’re [the HealthHack organising team] all experts at running HealthHack and many of us are experienced working remotely. If you’re keen to come but unsure of how you’ll be able to work remotely, we’ve got you covered. The organising team are on hand, just like the normal events, to help make this work.”

The organising team’s vision for the remote HealthHack is still fluid, but the likely structure is that “problem owners” (researchers or professionals who bring a health or medical research problem to the table to solve) will record videos of their pitches and upload these to the HealthHack YouTube channel before the opening weekend for software developers, designers and other problem solvers to review.

The HealthHack team will work closely with “problem owners” to develop their pitch and their problem into something that can be solved over the period of the hack. Teams of hackers will then form to create solutions to the problems.

The call is now open for those who work in health and medical research to submit a research problem they need help with (submissions close Friday, 26 June). Get in touch with the HealthHack organising team as soon as possible.

The call for hackers, sponsors and volunteers is also now open.

QCIF eResearch Analyst Dr Nick Hamilton will once again be a ‘Problem Wrangler’ for HealthHack, i.e. in charge of coordinating the problems to be solved.

“HealthHack has now been running every year since 2015, and many projects that have been seeded at HealthHack have gone on to either win an award, get substantial further investment or have formed the basis of grant applications,” said Dr Nick.

“HealthHack is a great way of encouraging innovation, creating solutions and, with a wide range of participants, it helps create connections between the university research, health and IT sectors. It is exciting to be able to reach out to a wider group of problem owners and problem solvers by going virtual this year.”

See the HealthHack website for more information.