HHOttawa Huddle: On Track for Hackathon 2017

HHOttawa Huddle at Impact Hub Ottawa

Last Wednesday, Hacking Health Ottawa brought together a full house of over 50 innovators in healthcare and technology at Impact Hub Ottawa for a night of lightning collaboration. The HHOttawa Huddle was designed to start taking the initial steps in preparation for our upcoming Hackathon scheduled for February 2017.

Hacking Health Ottawa Chapter Founder, Haidee Thanda and volunteer, Hammad Asad kicked off the evening with an introduction to Hacking Health as a global movement and our particular goals for the evening. They also unveiled our exciting new Sparkboard which will allow healthcare professionals, developers and designers to collaborate on real problems identified by CHEO’s own healthcare practitioners.

Our first speaker of the night was Emma Craig of Shopify. Emma delivered a brilliant and moving presentation on her experience as a patient at CHEO Hospital where she learned just how important it is to “inject happiness” into user experiences within healthcare:

Emma Craig, UX Researcher at Shopify

“As someone who has spent a lot of time in hospitals … it’s clear that there are enormous blind spots across the healthcare industry … Organizations like Hacking Health are making the commitment and [taking] the right steps towards innovating healthcare to provide better patient care and experiences.”

Our second speaker, Jarred Szabadi of GymTrack Inc. then opened our eyes to the endless possibilities of precision user experience and how this can be applied to healthcare by creating habit-forming products to generate new and desirable behaviours.

Jarred Szabadi, Director of Software at Gymtrack Inc.

After some enthusiastic questions from the audience, Matt Tanner of Iversoft Solutions facilitated an ideation workshop that allowed participants to propose solutions to a specific issue in healthcare within confined requirements. The Huddle started tackling the following issue put forth by Dr. Jordan Littman, a family physician here in Ottawa:

As a family doctor, I want to be more accessible to my patients for quick questions without getting overwhelmed/inundated.

Just like that, our participants got to work while Monica Zaczynski of Akendi meandered from table to table to facilitate the efforts of our participants to come up with viable solutions. Attendees then had 90 seconds to present different solutions to the rest of the group, while Dr. Littman provided individual feedback.

Our Huddle participants hard at work

Our #HHOttawa hashtag was so successful, we actually attracted the attention of some would-be solicitors on Twitter who were looking to capitalize on the exposure. This was made all the more humorous by our nondiscriminatory live tweet wall that had been set up so attendees could follow along with Huddle-inspired tweets.

The buzz from the event continued well past the appointed end-time and we were left with a vat of extra coffee that apparently no one needed to stay energized. The HHOttawa Huddle demonstrated what can happen when passionate people unite for nothing other than one shared cause.

We are one step further on our journey towards better tools and user experiences for healthcare providers and patients alike. We hope to keep this kind of high-energy momentum going for our upcoming events leading up to our Hackathon in February 2017 where we will aim to give our healthcare community the technology upgrade it deserves.

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