#HealthHack2019: Be a health minister for a day

On Wednesday the 26th of June the Canberra Innovation Network’s own Joel Anderson and Zak Sequoia traveled to Singapore with an Australian National University (ANU) contingent of 20 PhD and Undergraduate students to participate in Innovfest Unbound and the ANU Health Hackathon in partnership with 20 students from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The event was held in Singapore at ‘The Hangar’ facility in the NUS Business centre and the final pitches were held in the stunning Westpac CoLab office in downtown Singapore. 8 teams battled it out over the 3 days, using a combination of lean facilitation workshops and industry mentors to be guided through the challenges currently facing data driven public health policy.

The Hackathon teams were created with a 50-50 mix of ANU and NUS students with each team having a balance of participants from the biotech, medicine and technology research fields. World leading public health policy mentors were on hand to advise groups about how dynamic simulation models and openly available data could be used to create a groundswell to influence public policy decisions in the future to benefit population health.

The top 3 teams were:

1st – Fun Police: Utilising wearable technology to live track a user’s BAC and report it through a mobile app. The app alerts you when you cross certain thresholds and will message friends if you get into the ‘danger zone’.

2nd – 6.66: Tackling the effect of Urban Heat Islands on public health by educating the public through a series of escape rooms that incorporate physical heating and cooling systems with VR to show users the effects of changeable policies on the populations health.

3rd – Infinity:  ‘Text Me Not’ aims to prevent young drivers texting and driving by tracking text frequency while a vehicle is moving and providing cheaper insurance and registration to those who do not text while they are driving, eventually creating large scale social change.

The event was a great success, achieving the desired outcome of exposing students to lean innovation principles, showcasing the research projects currently being undertaken at ANU and creating new relationships between world leading universities from Canberra and Singapore. The foundations have been poured for similar events in the future to continue to build these relationships and provide students with an insight into life as an entrepreneur.

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