I loved this article about how a student run group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been bringing together healthcare professionals, researchers and designers to tackle challenges innovatively through a series of Hackathons.
As I am known for my interest in anything that breaks the silo walls I had already cottoned onto the potential of Hacking but as I am not very familiar I thought the best thing to do was to hack the Hackathon and go along to an NHS Hack Day in Leeds. I was enthralled to see the zeal with which teams of coders took on the tasks brought by a range of healthcare professionals. I could see that the resulting “apps” created after two days of frantic coding was perhaps of secondary importance to the energy created by the process of working in this way outside of professional silos.
I would say that in the article and at the Hack Day I attended, a potential vital ingredient appeared to be absent. I know many patients are now actively involved in designing IT based solutions to their own healthcare issues and how powerful it would be if they were included in the gang at healthcare Hackathons. There is a fortune at the base of the pyramid and it would be great if the hacking ethos in a health care setting extended to those on the receiving end, among whose ranks are some of the most innovative thinkers out there.