I was one of the project owners for Healthhack 2015 in Melbourne. It was also my first time at a hack-a-thon which I thought would be fun to do. I was a little nervous about participating but I had a lot of support from my work, peers and the Statistical Society Vic Branch. I went in, not really knowing what to expect, trying to keep expectations low. I had half a dozen people who joined the team. They had various skills, worked well together and we all learned many new things. The solution exceeded my expectations. Back at work, I presented the outcomes to some team leaders and they were impressed and excited as me. They want to take the project to the next level with funding and support from our senior leadership team. I highly recommend participating and bringing your projects along, as you never know what it may turn into. Bring on next year!
I had a great time at Health Hack 2015. I brought two problems along, and was lucky enough to find people interested in both of them. Because of the efforts of these motivated health hackers, I’ve now got tools that I can use to further my research into comparing the performance of health care providers and investigating the changing treatments of dialysis patients. Seeing what the hackers in my teams came up with wasn’t the only fantastic thing about Health Hack: I really enjoyed getting to meet the hackers, other problem owners, and organisers. A brilliant weekend!
We came to Healthhack with a very specific problem: we wanted a tool that would help researchers upload new genome and annotation files to our online Genome Browser, without having to use the command line or run scripts. We soon assembled a team of people with a good mix of programming and design skills, and by the end of the weekend they had come up with a functional GUI that looks beautiful and only needs a little bit more work to be ready to roll out in the lab. This will be useful for labs all around the world, as researchers are assembling more and more genomes and need straightforward ways to make them publicly accessible. I was really impressed with the dedication and hard work of all the participants. It was an inspiring and fun event!
This was my first HealthHack and I was blown away by the level of skill and dedication of not just my own team, but everyone else's as well. There were some amazing and ambitious projects and I was impressed with how these were presented and taken up by the participants. My own team developed organically, after one participant committed (thanks Alexia!), a diverse team followed soon after. They immediately began analysing the project, and it became clear that the team had the perfect combined skills to get the project started. The venue was great, as was the catering, as was the childcare provisions. The dynamic between nerds from different disciplines was electric, and it was such a fun weekend I am hoping to come across some more problems for future Health Hacks.