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Team Yarning claims top prize at Health Hack Brisbane

A culturally sensitive app’ using storytelling to help end-of-life care for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people claimed first prize at this year’s Brisbane Health Hack.

Team Yarning, headed by Goondiwindi Hospital Director of Nursing Lorraine McMurtrie, and including QCIF/QFAB/RCC bioinformatician Thom Cuddihy, also won the design award at the hack weekend, held 3–5 November at ThoughtWorks’ Brisbane office.

Second prize went to a team led by members of UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience for the project ‘Show Me MND’, an application that allows patients with motor neurone disorder to regularly self-report and monitor symptom progression for themselves and their overseeing neurologist. 

Team Andra, led by QUT’s Nicole Robinson, claimed bronze for a social robot it created to promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Tracy Kaur, a self-described “mum that codes”, won ‘Supreme Coder of the Hackathon’ for her great work on the Birth Advisor problem proposed by Alecia Maree Staines from the Maternity Consumer Network. While having only recently learned to program, Tracy threw herself into the project rapidly skilling herself up and applying a range of technologies that were new to her, as well as seeking advice and outside expertise when needed.

And Julian Scharf, a ThoughtWorks developer, won the "Spirit of the Hackathon" award for his work to provide free childcare at Brisbane's event, as well as helping various teams with coding when needed, despite originally not intending to hack.

About 80 people attended the event, and formed into teams to work on seven projects.

QCIF/RCC/IMB eResearch Analyst Dr Nick Hamilton, who acted as “Problem Wrangler” for Health Hack and the Brisbane event’s official photographer (his photographs can be found here), said what was notable about this year’s event was the diversity of people involved. 

“Many participants commented on the fact that by far the majority of ‘Problem Owners’ [those who pitched projects to hack] were women and that it was the most inclusive and diverse tech event they had ever attended. It was great that we managed to create an environment for anyone with a good idea or a desire to help to come and participate,” said Dr Nick. 

A Health Hack was also held in Sydney concurrent with Brisbane’s. See the Health Hack website for more information.


Team Yarning, the winning Brisbane Health Hack 2017 team. QCIF's Thom Cuddihy is pictured far left, and Goondiwindi Hospital's Lorraine McMurtrie is holding the microphone. Some members of Team Yarning are missing from this photo. (Photo: Dr Nick Hamilton, QCIF/RCC/IMB)


Attendees of Brisbane's Health Hack 2017. (Photo: Dr Nick Hamilton, QCIF/RCC/IMB)