I am reading through the notes for Lumohacks and it makes me so excited for the next one. Thank goodness we live in a time where anyone can start something they care about.
I wanted to create change in the healthcare sector using technology—this turned into Canada’s first major health hackathon.
Located in Vancouver, BC, engineers and entrepreneurs explored the underlying issues of living with major health issues. They were given the cutting-edge technology needed to make a difference (including twelve 3D printers plus hardware), and mentored by top industry leaders in the health and technology sectors.
I put together a few notes about the event below, that might help you run an event with a few hundred attendees! (Side Note: Here’s the behind-the-scenes of Lumohacks.)
A lot of people outside of the tech sector weren’t familiar with hackathons. A hackathon is an event where teams of 2-5 people come together to collaborate on a project, and prizes are awarded to the most creative or useful projects. Sometimes there’s a theme, but nonetheless, it’s a great way to innovate because you are putting people into a pressure cooker.
The overall topic at Lumohacks was “Improving a Cancer Patient’s Life”; hackers were given 5 specific underlying topics to work on, such as Mobility or Prevention.
On Saturday morning, we started with talks from healthcare professionals (such as Dr. Rob Fraser, PhD, CEO of PMI and Dr. Melisa Hamilton, BC Cancer Agency Researcher), who presented the challenges in their work. For example, Dr. Rob Fraser’s challenge was Prevention: synthesizing the droves of data collected for patients to prevent cancers and other health issues.
We divided the speakers into two groups, who presented the challenges in two different locations, to speed up the process. We encouraged teams to split up and get to know all the challenges.
A lot of attendees come from a technical background, so we also asked oncologists to give talks on the basics of cancer as well.