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Combining technology, healthcare and innovation at NHS Hack Day

25 February 2016

Hack Day 2016
The School of Computer Science & Informatics won a number of prizes at the recent NHS Hack Day. (Photo credit: Paul Clarke)

Students and staff from the Cardiff University School of Computer Science & Informatics enjoyed a fun and successful day at the NHS Hack Day recently, winning a number of prizes.

The event is held regularly at venues around the UK, with this one taking place in Cardiff. It is billed as an opportunity to brainstorm about healthcare-related technology and collaborate with a diverse group of people.

The first day of the event is an opportunity to pitch and discuss ideas, with groups then forming organically by attendees deciding which ideas are most interesting to them or which would benefit from their involvement. The groups then develop these ideas as far as possible and make a short presentation about their work on the second day.

Two teams were awarded joint first place overall, one of which included current MSc Computing student Matilda Rhode. Matilda's team built a web app to help clinicians in designing weaning plans for ICU patients on ventilators.

The overall third-placed team included one of the School's current PhD students, Joseph Redfern. His team built an e-learning tool for medical students, called 'EyeZap'.

Another team composed entirely of current and former staff and students from the School were awarded the 'Patient Involvement Prize'. This team built a game, based on the popular 'Papers Please' game, intended to highlight the stress junior doctors and A&E staff are under at work. They won £100, which they are using to get an Apple developer account and release the game.

Though the presentations are judged and prizes are awarded, the emphasis of the event is placed firmly upon sharing ideas and collaborating with others. Producing a finished product is not the aim, but all participants were certainly thinking creatively about how technology can be used to the benefit of healthcare and the NHS.

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