Hack and map the future of healthcare to win €5,000

1 Feb 2017

The x-Gov Hackathon at Dublin City University will see innovation and policy collide to result in useful location-based medical services for citizens. Image: CHAIWATPHOTOS/Shutterstock

Coders and entrepreneurs have the chance to win up to €5,000 if they can marry Eircodes with open data to create useful healthcare apps for citizens.

The upcoming x-Gov Hackathon at Dublin City University (DCU) will give software developers, entrepreneurs and researchers the chance to vie for a top prize of €5,000.

All they have to do is come up with apps and services that marry Eircode postal codes with open data sets.

The hackathon will take place at DCU on 10 February between 9am and 10pm.

‘This could be very important in creating a digital foundation for the country if everyone collaborates around the same information’

As well as an overall prize of €5,000, teams can compete for a second prize of €3,000 and a third prize of €1,000.

The event is being organised by DCU; the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; the Local Government Management Agency; the National Transport Authority; Ordnance Survey Ireland and the HSE.

Geography is the best medicine for healthcare

Michael Murray, innovation officer for the Programme for Health Service Improvement at the HSE, told Siliconrepublic.com that the aim is to bring together technologists, researchers and policymakers to explore how Government data sets can be used to come up with location-based services for citizens around Ireland.

“The idea is to come up with apps and services where all a citizen needs is an Eircode and they can be directed to the best bus services to bring them to the hospital, for example. Or to use Eircodes to find the right location of a specialist or doctor at a hospital they aren’t familiar with.”

Murray said that there is a trove of open data that has yet to be exploited, which can result in valuable new services for citizens as well as potential start-up business opportunities.

Murray said that many government departments are integrating Eircodes into their existing systems and much of this data is open.

“By creating the right apps and services, you can reduce the need for multiple agencies to create multiple data tables, for example.

“This could be very important in creating a digital foundation for the country if everyone collaborates around the same information,” Murray said.

“It could be used to reduce inefficiencies, such as people going to A&E simply because they weren’t aware that the service they were looking for existed elsewhere.

“It could also create greater visibility of services and better transparency in the system,” said Murray.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years