RISE Service Labs
12 min readDec 11, 2016



Hackathon for Health is part of the project Open4Citizens. It’s a European design and innovation project that investigates the potential for new welfare services by exploring the gap between open data and citizens’ ability to use open data as a resource.

The project is a partnership consisting of the County Council of Värmland, Experio Lab, Karlstad University, Karlstad Innovation Park, the Swedish research institute RISE, the NGO Ett Öppnare Kronoparken and Karlstad municipality.

Open4Citizens is running from 2016 to 2018 in five European cities: Karlstad, Copenhagen, Milan, Barcelona and Rotterdam.

Before the hack we had an intense research period including many people in different meetings, servicejams and interviews. All to get a good basis for our teams in the hackathon. This resulted in four different cases:

1. Our health data — where we live!

2. Data ♥ Fritidsbanken

3. Data to meet on Kronoparken

4. Talk about health // Meet the public health care

During the hack we worked in teams where citizens, employees from the health care sector, students and companies from the IT and communications business together created prototypes and new solutions. The work followed a clear process with these different steps:

• inventory and definition of needs

• brainstorming

• prioritizing of ideas

• idea generation

• prototyping

• pitch

The process is a method with tools developed by the Danish company Antropologerne and are used by all pilots in the project, so that the results can be compared between them.


We started Hackathon for Health with a kickoff! Around 40 excited and curious people took the opportunity to meet to talk about solving societal challenges with the help of digital solutions, starting at Kronoparken.


The teams start working. Today is a hard day! Many steps and tools to go through in one single day.

We get an injection of energy by the inspirer Jenny Westling at lunch. Jenny’s top four tips to get creativity flowing in the team:

1. Be open!

2. Be different!


4. Be curious!

Before the day is over, each team have created a basis for a concept and presented it for the other teams. Then everybody was treated to a delicious and healthy dinner.


The day started with looking at the criteria for the jury:

- How does your idea prevent illness?
- How does your idea relate to the opportunities and challenges on Kronoparken?
- How does your idea/concept use open data?
- How have you thought about the user perspective?
- How are the idea / concept / prototype being implemented?
- How do you present your ideas in a structured, interesting and attractive way?
- How do you show that you believe in your idea / concept / prototype?

It’s time for the teams to go from idea generating to prototyping!

At 15:00 sharp all the team were gathered to be assessed and receive feedback from an expert jury. All of them showed impressive creativity and fully workable solutions and prototypes.

Here they are, our tough yet fair jury: Andreas Stjärnhem — Sticky Beat, Linda Ryan Bengtsson, Department of media and communications, Karlstad University, Per Hanning — Experio Lab at the County Council of Värmland and Noorihe Halimi — NGO Ett Öppnare Kronoparken.


We created four exciting conceptual solutions, all about how you can improve peoples’ everyday life and health on Kronoparken. The hack has been based upon Open Innovation. This means that everyone involved have the opportunity to freely go ahead with ideas and networks that were created during the hack. Karlstad Innovation Park and the NGO Ett Öppnare Kronoparken are great resources and support for people with ideas.

Going into the post-hack phase means going into a period where we will evaluate, learn and package the results. The organizers of Hackathon for Health are particularly happy that so many participants want to continue working in creative processes across boundaries.

In a year we do it again!

Here is a summary of our four cases and the prototypes and proposals for new solutions coming out from Hackathon for Health.



Starting on Kronoparken — how can you create solutions to communicate health data in an accessible, interesting and interactive way to increase residents ‘awareness of their and others health?


There is a lot of data available about how neighborhoods and cities are feeling, but few platforms where you can view and open up the data. This may involve statistics from government agencies and local governments, but also from the general public health surveys. This data often ends up in official reports that very few read and the data stays among strategists, statisticians and policy makers far away from the everyday life of citizens.


Based on the challenge, the team identified a number of needs of the residents on Kronoparken:

· Increase awareness of health
· Inspire a healthier lifestyle
· Make the information understandable

To meet these needs the team worked with the idea of a broad platform for digital and phsyical meetings together with information in different channels. The team chose to focus on a number of big screens to be placed at various locations on Kronoparken where a lot of people move around.

The benefits of the solution would be:

· To create awareness of the individual’s health

· Health data becomes available to everyone through images, digital and public screens

· The target group doesn’t need to be active to obtain information

· The solution creates conditions for healthier choices

· The solution inspires individuals to take responsibility for their own health

The team’s proposal for how the work could go ahead when the big screens are put in place:

· Develop a complementary app and website

· Connect to physical meeting places

· Refer to the activities and events on Kronoparken

· Expand to other districts and other municipalities


How can we use the NGO Fritidsbanken to generate, test, and disseminate open data on sports and exercise on Kronoparken?

Exercise is essential for good health and staying healthy. Fritidsbanken is like a library but with equipment for sports and leisure. It’s also a social innovation that creates opportunities for exercise and for people to meet. The concept of Fritidsbanken will be spread all over Sweden within a few years, but they lack the systems to create and capitalize on the potentially unique data that can be generated to gain better knowledge of how residents exercise. This is data that could be used by both researchers and local government and, not least, the residents themselves.


Team 2 focused on making it easier and smarter to borrow equipment from Fritidsbanken by creating a system that generates and uses open data to create value for the borrower.

The solution is based on a system similar to a library, where you get an ID instead of entering with your name every time you borrow.

By using open data from for example the municipality and Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute we create a better loan experience, by referring to good places for recreation and to give advice based on the weather forecast.

The value from the solutions, in summary:

· Create and structure data from lending and usage that can be analyzed by others

· Use open data to improve the service and experience at Fritidsbanken

· Help improving sports and exercise surfaces

· Create a flexible loan scheme

· Broaden the arena to practice sports and exercise on Kronoparken

· Create environmental benefits through sharing economy

· Provide opportunities for improving public health


How can we create solutions to make it easier for people to meet on Kronoparken using and / or creating open data?

It’s important for people to meet others to feel good and stay healthy. Kronoparken is a place where there are many opportunities for exciting and fruitful meetings with the university, Kronoparken Centre and Karlstad Innovation Park within walking distance. But even though there are a lot of exciting things happening, there’s no place where information on everything that’s going on can be put togehter and visualized in an attractive and smart way.


The team focused on a website, The Kronoparken Guide, where information on everything that’s going on can be put together in an accessible and intelligent way. The Kronoparken Guide should make it easier for lonely people to find company in activities on Kronoparken.

The key target groups are migrants and students. Partly because they are numerous on Kronoparken but also because both groups have the experience of being new in their context and could complement and support each other.

The team assumed that there’s a lot of data that are fully or partially open on planned activities on Kronoparken, for example from associations, Karlstad University, Karlstad municipality and the health center. This data access creates opportunities for a good overview of what is happening in different places within the same geographical area.

The proposal consists of a website with three main features:

· Flow — activities happening now
· Calendar — planned activities
· Map View — map that visualizes the activities that are ongoing or starting soon

The value from the solutions, in summary:

· The platform facilitates for individuals to find activities that can lead more social interaction between people in the same geographical area
· The platform generates knowledge about what makes people attend to activities in terms of timing, kind of arrangements or different organizers


How can we find solutions that help volunteers / associations to talk about health and preparing people to find the right nursing care?

The County Council of Värmland is responsible for organizing care in a way that give all citizens access to the right care. But it’s not always easy to understand the health care system and know where to turn to get the right care. A lot of people living on Kronoparken, both ethnic Swedes, people with other ethnic backgrounds than Swedish and students, testify that it’s difficult to know where and when to go when you are sick and who to turn to in order to stay healthy. Many people turn to civil society organizations to get answers and advice. The question, however, is how to assure the quality of this advice, but also how to use those contacts to learn more about how the status of health in a society really looks like.


The group’s challenge has a great complexity. There’s a need to help people to identify their problems and find the right level of care, which basically is getting an overview of the healthcare system. But it’s also a question of lack of trust between the public sector as health care is a part of, and “new Swedes”. Many students live on Kronoparken who have recently moved away from home and not yet gained experience of how to get in contact with health services. This case has also an extra dimension of preventing illness and empowering people to stay healthy.

The solution is a digital platform that can be exposed as a website, an app on a phone or tablet, or on a big screen. The screens can be found at the health center, the NGO Ett Öppnare Kronoparken, Karlstad University or the local pharmacist. The idea is to show and use Ett Öppnare Kronoparken, with great confidence of many citizens from different cultures, as partner to health care to gain better trust and confidence.

The digital solution consists of three main parts:

1. Sickness — helps you to find the right profession or level of care in relation to your symptoms. Open Data from 1177 is the basis, but the information needs to be adapted, visualized with images and made available in the major languages on Kronoparken.

2. Information — about lifestyle and the prevention of illness. It offers advice, tips and self-help.

3. Asking — the possibility for citizens or associations to have a dialogue with health care, generating data from both citizens and health care about what is relevant right now on Kronoparken, for example Ramadan or the Norwalk virus.

From the evaluation:

From the evaluation: What do you take with you from Hackathon for Health in 2016?

Got a whole new perspective on things, among others on how to find a solution and how to keep a pitch etc. Something I absolutely will carry with me for the rest of your life.

I learned a lot from everyone else’s ideas and from the research done before. I will take with me the work process and I think I will have much use of that in the future.

Got lots of new perspectives in for example health care and a lot of knowledge about open data and how to use it.

A better understanding of how to work with people from different disciplines.

The strength of being a multi-skilled team in age, gender, ethnicity, professional background. Also openness in the creative process, to always say YES not to close the doors to solutions later.

The best thing was all the people you met involved in the same issues.

Voices from the Hack:

From the evaluation: What are your thoughts about Hackathon health in 2016?

It’s a fun and different way of working but also very demanding.

I’m a very curious person and love new challenges. As long as there’s something new for me to learn, I want to be part of it.

It was great fun to develop the idea in a group with people coming from different backgrounds with different experiences and there’s a lot of things I take with me from this hack. I ‘m happy to participate again to develop, learn more and challenge myself. I also want to be involved and “keep an eye on” children, youth and parental perspective.

It was fun and rewarding! It was very cool to work with something that is for real and happening locally, I would like to do it again. It was intense but fun.

It was great fun and educational! this was my first time and if I get to practice the method it’ll become even better. I believe in the process.

Continue to follow the project Open4Citizens here:



RISE Service Labs

RISE Service Labs is a group within the Research Institutes of Sweden addressing societal challenges using service innovation and establishing new test beds.