The new year brought with it a new exciting challenge from Product Forge: the Future Health Hackathon. For 3 days, 145 entrepreneurially minded data scientists and analysts, clinicians, designers, software engineers and mentors worked side-by-side developing new product ideas for patients, front-line staff and the wider NHS.

It was an exciting hackathon for the participants, as well as for us. USMART played an important role during the event. Our data sharing platform provided secure, scalable and simple access to the NHS Scotland’s open data.

We love numbers - so here are some from the hackathon

  • Number of hacker participants: 81
  • Hackathon duration: 72 hrs
  • Datasets published by NHS through USMART for the hackathon: 76
  • Largest & most popular dataset: NHS Prescription Data (13 million records) - because go big or go home! - with 70 views, 35 downloads and 1067 API requests during the hackathon

More numbers and impressions...

#FutureHealthPF Twitter NodeXL SNA Map and Report for Monday, 23 January 2017 at 07:52 UTC (Source)

#FutureHealthPF Twitter NodeXL SNA Map and Report for Monday, 23 January 2017 at 07:52 UTC (Source)

And of course....

Diversity is the name of the game

Product Forge hackathons are always very exciting and extremely fruitful. We believe the secret sauce of this success is diversity within the teams, as well as among the mentors. Each team contained at least one medical professional, one business analyst, and one software engineer -  with more help available from the mentors who also had diverse backgrounds and skill-sets. The result: product prototypes and even implementations tackling real issues and providing solutions to some of the challenges the healthcare industry is facing.

oBay, the winner of the Hackathon, was one of the many inspiring products developed during the 3 day event. oBay streamlines the organ donation process.

A system that automates the process of matching organ donors to recipients.
— oBay

This system could be used by clinicians and RPOCs (Recipient Centre Point of Contact) in order to more effectively administrate and orchestrate the distribution of donated organs. It has advanced database and notification features in order to optimise the amount of time taken for an organ to get from donor to recipient.

The data

The Information Services Division of the NHS in Scotland opened up an amazing 76 datasets. The datasets included a vast array of data, such as data about prescriptions across Scotland, about diagnostics waiting times, childhood admissions summary, staff and social issues such as smoking cessation. All data was cleaned of sensitive information and anonymised to ensure that it contained no personal information about patients or staff.

The best use of USMART

The teams that chose a data-driven approach to the challenge of revolutionising healthcare had an extra surprise in store: a special award for the best use of USMART’s capabilities in building their product.

The winning team, MyNHS, used USMART’s powerful APIs to create a platform that unifies already available health information to make it linkable, more accessible and discoverable. By bringing together data from various platforms: a one-stop-shop was created. Simply enter your postcode and MyNHS will display a wealth of information on GP practices, clinics, hospitals, health board expenditures, the waiting time in your A&E and so on, in your area. The platform would also enable you to drill down further and examine data specific to a hospital or GP. This allows patients to make more informed decisions and healthcare professionals to see what’s happening around them.

The team’s hard work was rewarded with USMART hoodies and UrbanTide mugs.

Congratulations to all the winners, the organisers, mentors and everyone who made the weekend such an amazing experience!

In case you missed the event you can catch up to the presentations here. If you only have 3 minutes, we recommend you watch the highlights here

Photos by: Jakub Tansey (Product Forge)

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