The Canadian Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) was the proud sponsor of the Hacking Health Waterloo Hackathon, held on Nov. 18th-20th, 2016 at Kitchener City Hall. Sixteen teams, comprised of diverse participants including clinicians, technologists, students, researchers, hackers and innovators, came together to create and accelerate solutions in aging and brain health.
The teams focused on finding solutions to CC-ABHI’s four key areas of focus:
- Emergency department visits: Solutions that avoid or reduce unnecessary emergency department visits for older adults living with dementia.
- Falls prevention: Solutions that prevent falls or mitigate injury due to falls in older adults with dementia.
- Aging at home: Solutions for better management of complex chronic conditions for older adults with dementia living at home.
- Cognitive fitness: Solutions that improve brain health or cognitive fitness in older adults.
The competition was fierce! The teams not only pitched new and innovative ideas, but also put together robust presentations that included workable hardware prototypes, business models, pricing, user profiles, workable UX and UI (websites, apps). And all within a quick-paced 52-hour period!
The diversity of participants on each team proved to be a real asset. Individuals who would not normally cross-pollinate ideas came together to combine business experience, medical expertise, design abilities, and biomedical innovation in order think through problems using their unique insights and approaches. Teams were also aided by excellent onsite mentors who provided expert feedback and directed quick builds to enable solutions that might be accelerated into entrepreneurial ventures, or used to inform future business ideas.
Nearly all the teams pitched ideas at the end of the Hackathon, competing for a large set of valuable prizes, including cash prizes, software, and a CC-ABHI innovation workshop to help take the idea by the winning team forward to the next level.
The judges’ panel included leading experts from various business fields, including:
- Ron Riesenbach, VP Innovation & CTO of Baycrest Health Sciences and CC-ABHI’s Managing Director
- Emile McLean, Founder of OpenSky Incubator
- Stephen Perelgut, Business Development Manager at IBM Cloud
- Susan Hermann, Regional Vice President, Business Development at Desjardins
- Dayton Pereira, Product Designer at Signal UX
- Alan Fong, VP Technology and Shared Services at PointClickCare; and
- Terry Low, SVP Product Engineering at PointClickCare.
The winning idea was had by team Genysis, who worked on a solution to improve brain health or cognitive fitness in older adults.
Congratulations to Hacking Health for putting together this stellar event. Congratulations also to the participants for bringing forward winning solutions with the potential for positive impact in the lives of older adults and on aging and brain health! View more information on innovations presented on the Hacking Health website.
Well done everyone!
(Photo: Courtesy of Hacking Health Waterloo)