Jamie McHale

Product Forge Digital Health Hackathon

An Edinburgh hack to generate ideas for future health

I attended Product Forge Digital Health Hackathon over the weekend. It is "Europe's largest health hackathon", with tracksfor teams including: Precision Medicine, Health Data, Wellness, Surgery and Urgent care.

I was mentoring for part of the event, and also helped taking team and presentation photos.

My top takeaways for those interested in Product Forge and product hackathons in general:

  • Participating in Product Forge helps big organisations become more accessible to the skilled public who may have insights or innovations to contribute from different fields. Both public and private companies had stands, provided mentorship and information sessions during the hack. Hackathons and other 'practical' events should be strongly considered as a great way to get and guide public and customer engagement.
  • Being a 'product' hack rather than a pure technical hack leads to the development of more rounded ideas due to the diversity of backgrounds of participants. It also increases the chances of producing a prototype that can have a real worl application.
  • A product hackathon is great for networking. I saw many repeat visitors both at the hack and in the audience for the presentations. There is a community here, and communities help their members.
  • If you are running or attending a product-type hackathon you should loosen up your expectations. The process is adaptable to the participants and circumstances, so go with the flow. Don't expect too much structure. The structure that is there is to help guide the looseness, not supress it!

Here are a selection of the photos that I took during the event:

 
Webmentions

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