WHO’s first-ever Health Hackathon in Ukraine :
For the first-ever Health Hackathon organised by WHO in the European Region, more than 40 teams of creative thinkers came together in Lviv, western Ukraine, to provide answers to the problems encountered by patients and medical professionals.
Modernizing health systems and performing public health duties requires digitalization. The COVID-19 epidemic and the effects of war have shown an urgent need for usable digital tools and sparked an unparalleled rush to adopt information technology (IT) solutions in the healthcare industry.
“The future of health is digital. Here we have gathered young minds to be among those who are now shaping it.”
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
For 48 hours, students, healthcare professionals, marketers, IT experts, and activists worked offline and online to create user-centered digital solutions that can support the national health care policy of Ukraine and cater to the requirements of patients, physicians, and professional unions. More than 30 industry leaders from the fields of health, technology, and business provided mentorship support as teams created and presented digital solutions for five health concerns.
“E-health has advanced over the past years, and Ukraine has been developing its IT products in different fields, including health care. We invited participants of the Health Hackathon to contribute by tackling challenges around health promotion, disease prevention, mental health, health workforce support and health-care management.”
Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine.
The Hackathon led to the funding of numerous concepts, invites to incubator support, and offers of mentorship for further development. A robot called Scally that provides emotional support to family members of cancer patients was chosen as the top solution and awarded US$ 3000 in prize money. Other standout solutions included artificial intelligence (AI)-based symptom detection that adhered to global clinical standards, as well as software that tracks and analyses patient data to offer additional tests to clinicians. To improve and complete their products, ten teams will continue to collaborate with business mentors and WHO field experts.
“This event was a unique opportunity for the participants to develop digital solutions that aim at preserving and strengthening people’s health, improving communication between doctor and patient, and supporting clinical decision-making processes,”
Dr Nataliia Piven, Technical Officer (Public Health Services), WHO Country Office in Ukraine.
With funding from the Government of Canada, the WHO Country Office in Ukraine hosted the Health Hackathon, which was carried out by CIVITTA, Radar Tech, and YEP in collaboration with specialists from the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Startup Fund.
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