What happens when clinicians working in the NHS collide with coders and software developers? Awesome stuff is what!
That’s the whole point of NHS Hacks – different fields working together in a “hackathon” to create a working prototype of an idea which could really improve patient care.
The hackathon starts off with clinicians pitching an idea to the audience and then the coders join in with the idea that they want to create the most.
There were some interesting pitches. For an example a consultant paediatric neurologist wanted to “hack” a fitbit into a device that could monitor whether his medications were adequately reducing dystonic movements (seizure like movements) in his patients. Which was pretty neat!
I ended up joining a team that was headed by Ed Hiller – a GP Reg from down south who wanted to create an app that would make discharging patients easier.
Our Visionary for the day – Ed Hiller!
Every time a doctor discharges you from the ED or the GP clinic they should always say something along the lines of; “if this or this happens, then come back!”. This is really important to do because medicine really isn’t a perfect science and people can indeed end up getting sicker or develop more worrying symptoms! Ed’s idea was to automate a part of this process with technology.
Here is our demo video for those of you who are interested:
Starring yours truly…
It was super fun brainstorming ideas and working with our coders while we developed our app.
I really admire the coders that came down to the event – most of them don’t have any connections with the NHS at all, but just want to get involved. It’s always really cool to see people who are passionate about the NHS coming forward to try and change things for the better.
The thing with these events is that it really opens your eyes to how much can be achieved in a really short time. It was also really interesting to meet budding coders who are thinking of creating their own startup in the healthcare space.
One thing I want to mention for clinicians who are thinking of creating a startup which will involve hiring developers/creating code is to learn some code! It will help you so so much if you know what you are talking about. You don’t have to be an expert coder (as that would take you over 10,000 hours, in which time you could create a thriving business), but knowing the basics of front end and back end development, what languages there are, what the pros and cons of each are etc. There are also some fantastic books out there that can really bring you up to speed with project management and of course hanging out with pro developers (the ones in the picture above included people working for the HMRC who are putting all your tax records online!) are all massive opportunities for learning!
So all in all a really fun time! I will leave you with our presentation which actually (thankfully!) worked!
I really encourage anyone reading this with even a vague interest in the NHS or technology to come to the next hackathon! Here’s our final presentation! Enjoy!
Main Stage Presentation