Hacking Children’s Health @ Alder Hey

Nigel John, Serban Pop and Panos Ritsos participated at the first Hacking Children's Health event to be held at the UK. The event was run by a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network and held at the new Institute in the Park at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

The Hackathon brought together 100 participants from different professions to solve (or hack) healthcare problems. Sixty challenges were pitched by clinicians, healthcare professionals, and patients. Following a networking session participants self selected fifteen of the challenges and formed multi-disciplinary teams to find a solution. The rest of day one involved hacking a solution, working well into the night. On day two, the teams pitched their solutions to a panel of judges, who marked them on their commercial viability.

Buzz healthcare wearable band
Figure 1: Buzz healthcare wearable band [PNG]

Serban and Panos worked with a team that produced a transformative concept for a healthcare wearable device and smartphone app that can manage mental well-being. Nigel's team were addressing how to allieviate the anxiety of children who have to attend the hospital for a procedure. This includes the use of Distraction Games and we created an immersive game for use with the Google Cardboard called Where's Oli. Oli is a blue elephant and the mascot of Alder Hey Hospital.

Oli, the Alder Hey mascot was there too!
Figure 2: Oli, the Alder Hey mascot was there too! [PNG]
The Cardboard HMD, used for the _Where is Oli_ app
Figure 3: The Cardboard HMD, used for the _Where is Oli_ app [PNG]