Another year of success for Swansea University’s Computer Scientists at NHS Wales Hackathon

On Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd March last week, six Computer Science students along with Dr Tom Owen and Thomas Reitmaier (research assistant for CherishDE project) attending the Welsh Health Hack event. It was attended by around 85 people during the two days and was judged by individuals from Welsh Government, Welsh Deanery, Bevan Commission and NHS Wales Informatics Services.

On Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd March last week, six Computer Science students along with Dr Tom Owen and Thomas Reitmaier (research assistant for CherishDE project) attending the Welsh Health Hack event. It was attended by around 85 people during the two days and was judged by individuals from Welsh Government, Welsh Deanery, Bevan Commission and NHS Wales Informatics Services.

The Welsh Health Hack brings healthcare professionals together with data scientists, analysts, designers, and software engineers, to kick-start change in the NHS in Wales. During the event health staff have the opportunity to collaborate with technology companies to solve an operational challenge.

Computer Science staff and students achieved great success, with the department contributing work to three of the winning four teams:

  • Physio Tracking app - using low cost sensors to analyse patients compliance with prescribed exercises (four Computer Science students were on this team)
  • Breast Cancer Exercise app - an instructional app helping woman prepare for radiotherapy (one Computer Science student contributed Design work)
  • Virtual Reality Cafe - using VR to promote engagement amongst Cystic Fibrosis patients (Dr Tom Owen and Thomas Reitmaier were part of this team)

From the hack, the teams will now be invited to apply for a small amount of Welsh Government funding to further develop ideas over the summer. Another team consisting of Computer Science students also pitched, but not picked as a winner:

  • Paediatric app - a goal setting app for children involved in treatment (two Computer Science students were involved in this team)

The students all joined teams based on an NHS staff member’s ideas, with the NHS member leading the team’s pitches. Our students contributed by scoping and prototyping ideas to address the challenges set.