Health Care Technology hackathon with Helmes offered new knowledge and excitement throughout the day
Health Care Technology master’s programme in collaboration with international software services and consulting company Helmes organized a one-day long HCT Hackathon. The event, which was already second in the row, was an excellent example of an interdisciplinary collaboration between the students from different fields, such as health care technologies, health data analytics and IT who came together to jointly cram and build solutions to real-life problems. TTÜ and Helmes have already a history in making different successful cooperation projects. Last year the cooperation was formalized by an official cooperation agreement between Helmes and the School on IT.
The idea behind HCT Hackathon was to get a group of students together to find solutions to problem raised by the actual experts working on the field- the problem owners. The problem owners represented diverse fields, ranging from the North Estonia Medical Center to Estonian Road Administration, as well as private companies. Specifically, students were tasked to find solutions to the following problems:
- How to make primary care appointments more efficient with good patient summary?
- How to prevent accidents at work caused by fatigue and sleepiness?
- How to provide palliative care more efficiently?
- How to help elderly people to overcome loneliness by the means of ICT?
Helmes mentor Raul Ennus giving instructions to the students
HCT Hackathon with its clear focus and carefully prepared structure, enabled the students to commit themselves to an intense period of focused work on the problem. Throughout the day, the student-teams received coaching from group of Helmes mentors, who gave the students practical tips and know-how on how to cram and build the solutions more effectively. Also students received invaluable guiding from well-known pitch trainer Gleb Maltsev, who taught students how to pitch their ideas to the investors.
HCT Hackathon created an environment, where the students were able to immediately share issues and insights with other participants, creating a different energy from the classroom, thus helping to accelerate the learning progress.
Main organizer of the event and a lecturer at Health Care Technologies master’s programme Janek Metsallik said “Hackathon provides a great learning curve for the students, as it gives the students the opportunity to test and implement the knowledge they have gained during the lectures. Hackathon’s hands-on approach also teaches students new skills, such as problem-solving skills and working in multidisciplinary teams. Thus, I am confident that the skills students acquired during hackathon can also be implemented to their professional life”.
At the end of the day, each team had the opportunity to present their ideas to the panel of investors, who then evaluated the solutions based on its effectiveness, scalability, innovativeness, sustainability and usability.
All student teams gave their best and the evaluation process was thrilling until the very last minute, as two teams- Patient Summary and Life Savers went head to head for the first place. This time the victory went to Life Savers team, who charmed the investors with their novel idea to help to increase the employees’ work results by creating a health database that encloses employees health data. This way the employer can monitor employee’s health and make better employee management decisions.
The winning team’s member Fisayo Akande, who is currently pursuing master’s in computer and systems engineering at TTÜ stated the following “HCT Hackathon was a well organized event, mentors were helpful, procedure was clear and all of the objectives in my opinion were achieved”.
In conclusion, HCT Hackathon proved to be an excellent learning experience for students, but also for problem owners, as they could follow the problem-solving process. Several teams reported that they had learned invaluable lessons from working on a real-life problem and that they had gained ideas for their own research.
Team Life Savers, from the left Alicia Gho, Adefisayo Akande, Kristiina Maajärv, Maiko Sado.
Next HCT Hackathon will already take place in November 2018. If you or your company would like to contribute to the event, becoming a mentor or a problem owner please contact Janek Metsallik, janek dot metsallik at ttu dot ee.