We’re proud to announce that Doctorpreneurs is partnering with MedX: the world’s first ‘medical education’ hackathon taking place in Glasgow this September. MedX is currently looking for innovative medics, software developers and entrepreneurs to come together at the event to work on creating new solutions to the problems currently facing medical education. When does it take place? How do you get involved? What actually is a ‘hackathon’? Read on for more details!
What Is a ‘Hackathon’?
A hackathon is typically a 2-3 day event that brings together from different fields together with the purpose of forming a team and rapidly working on innovative new ideas for problems in various industries. It may sound impossible, but in just a few days many teams successfully brainstorm ideas and create prototypes of their ideas to ‘pitch’ to judges at the end. Some of these ideas are then taken forward by the teams that work on them and put into practice. If you haven’t been to one before, I’d highly recommend doing so as it really gives people a taste of all aspects of building a startup or an innovative idea, offers great networking opportunities and, above all else – is a lot of fun!
It’s probably important to correct one particular misunderstanding at this point: Whilst the word ‘hack’, to most people is associated with illegal ‘computer hackers’, in the tech world ‘hacking’ has a much broader definition and basically refers to rapid development of websites and software, and that’s where the term ‘hackathon’ comes from.
How do you create something in 2 days?
Hackathons are the absolute embodiment of the ‘Lean Startup’ ethos: Build something, measure it’s impact, learn from it and repeat. Lean methodology advocates rapidly iterating through ideas, testing whether they’re likely to work or not and improving on them as rapidly as possible.
The goal of a hackathon is to address a particular problem, brainstorm potential solutions to it, and test those solutions to the point of failure. If an idea holds up, then you build a prototype or ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP) of it to present. An MVP is a working prototype of your idea: it may not have all the features or polish you’d expect in the final product, but it demonstrates the core premise of your idea.
It’s intense, and you’ll likely need some Red Bull, but also incredibly rewarding and a very helpful process to go through.
As a movement, hackathons are spreading quickly. Some hackathons are general, and some focus on specific areas such as innovations in clean energy, healthcare, or in the case of MedX: medical education. Large companies such as Facebook and Google also run internal hackathons with their employees as ways take a break from the day-to-day aspects of running a company, and think ‘outside of the box’ to create innovative new features and tools for their users.
What is MedX and Should I Apply?
MedX is the UK’s first ‘medical education’ hackathon, it is being set up as part of the Association for Medical Education in Europe’s (AMEE) international annual conference in Glasgow and is taking place 4th-6th September this year. It is being organised by Jeremy Chui, a medical student from Sheffield and HackPartners who are arguably the UK’s leading organisation when it comes to setting up high profile hackathon events.
“The medical education industry remains largely untapped, which is why we decided to work with AMEE to host the world’s first medical education hackathon. It’s not every day that you get the chance to bring together Europe’s most highly skilled developers and designers, with the sole aim of creating products to improve medical education. We’re very excited to see the outcome from the hackathon, as it will no doubt create huge benefits for healthcare professionals, but society as well.”
– Jeremy Chui, Medical Student at Sheffield University and Lead Organiser for MedX
They are currently looking for healthcare professionals, educators, software developers, designers and entrepreneurs to take part in the event, which will also feature incredible hardware products from companies like Google for people to experiment and build products with.
Whilst a number of people at the event will be experienced ‘hackathon veterans’, a key aim for the event is also to give newcomers a taste of what the movement is about, so if you’re a medic with an interest in the world of technology and innovation and you’re looking for a good way to get involved with it, this could be perfect for you!
If you’re interested in the MedX Hackathon, you can learn more and apply at www.medx.io, and someone from the team will be in touch to discuss it with you!
Doctorpreneurs are partnering with MedX, if you’re a medic and you’re not sure whether to apply or not, feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter – @doctorpreneurs, or contact the MedX team directly – @medxhacks.