Hackathon 2015

As the Hackathon for Health, Assisted Living, Social Care and Community (HALE) enters its third year running, it has quickly established itself as one of the main events on the De Montfort University Campus and Leicester community, providing unique opportunities for staff, students, industry professionals and members of the public to gather together to create technology to benefit the public.

Hackathon for HALE 2015 was supported by a new initiative, DS-Cubed Ltd, which extends the spirit of Hackathon to a yearlong concept. The 2015 Hackathon took place on the 10th and 11th of November 2015 at the DS-Cubed labs in the Innovation Centre of De Montfort University.

This event was organised jointly by the Vir.AL research group and DS-Cubed Ltd. It brought together designers and developers with charities and service providers and created technical solutions to social problems during an intensive two-day development process. Developers from around the country in addition to DMU undergraduates and PhD students came to help to develop these applications.

The Hackathon event plays an important role in generating ideas for applications from organisations that students could create to benefit the wider community.

There were 10 proposals submitted this year by charities, hospitals, museums and service providers. Five of these proposals were chosen to be developed at this year's Hackathon. This selection was based on impact and urgency of development in addition to the feasibility of producing a prototype in two days. The chosen projects were:

  1. Gapp – The Project Trust Charity’s application helps young volunteers aged 17 to 19 with fundraising support. The app provides volunteers with a means to monitor and fundraise the sums required. The technical implementation includes a “how to” reference section providing guides on how to organise a fundraising event, monitoring of charitable body applications and monitoring the funds received against the expected target.

  2. Work Savvy - This application was developed to coach adults with learning disabilities through their work day tasks. The Work Savvy App is based on time and motion studies, enabling a breakdown of a job into a list of ordered tasks to be completed. This app also times how long it takes to complete a job and then asks for a quality score at the end from a support worker. A history of performance for an individual is then stored so that progress of performance can be monitored. 
  3. Dem-ob - Specifically for nurses working in clinics and hospitals to store observations, patient's records and track patient health status. This is a web-based app that records mental and physical health observations within an inpatient setting. It has the facilities to combine mental and physical health observations in one tool and is able to visualise any trends or changes in physical and mental health observations over a period of time.

  4. Dem-ob – Their second application which helps to monitor challenging behaviour for a patient with dementia residing in a care home or an inpatient in a community hospital. A carer or nurse is able to log in to the app to document an episode of challenging behaviour, and the information would be logged on their systems as well as being sent electronically to the services team for review.

  5. DermDB - DermDB is an open image repository platform for hosting and sharing consumer and research data to analyse skin conditions such as cancers and moles. This open image repository combines research from various sources to improve the algorithm of image analysis, assisting with self-diagnosis of skin cancer but also other derma logical conditions as well as supporting skin cancer research overall.

After the event, DS-Cubed Ltd has successfully worked with some of the projects to secure funding for further development.

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