Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original research
Is hackathon in oncology a plausible way to foster innovation? An experiential narrative account of conducting Hacking Cancer
  1. Shirley Lewis1,
  2. Chythra R Rao2,
  3. Padmaja Ananth Shenoy3,
  4. Naveen Salins4,
  5. Rangan Viveganandan5,
  6. Arun Shanbhag5,
  7. Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay3,
  8. Krishnananda Prabhu6,
  9. Sharath K Rao7
  1. 1 Radiotherapy and Oncology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  2. 2 Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  3. 3 Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  4. 4 Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  5. 5 Innovation Center, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  6. 6 Biochemistry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  7. 7 Orthopaedics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chythra R Rao, Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal 576104, Karnataka, India; chythra.raj{at}manipal.edu

Abstract

Background Hackathons are a popular trend in the technology domain and is considered a powerful tool to spur creativity and innovation. In a health hackathon, an interdisciplinary team of health, technology and management experts work collaboratively to solve a common problem. Health hackathon can be one of the quickest means to derive technology or process-based solutions to the challenges faced by clinicians.

Methods A 2-day hackathon: Hacking Cancer was conducted at a tertiary cancer centre in India to develop quick, cost-effective solutions in cancer care. Twelve oncology-related problem statements were explored. Undergraduate and postgraduate students of health and dental sciences, pharmacy, nursing, engineering and business management were the participants.

Outcomes One hundred and fifty-seven participants expressed interest, and 90 participated in the event. The participants did a time-bound exploration of 12 challenges in oncology elucidated problem statements. The oncology specialists mentored the participants during the hackathon. Seventeen teams presented their solutions. Judges reviewed the solutions and scored the teams based on feasibility, relevance and applicability. The top-scoring three projects were acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) better-improving adherence to treatment in ALL patients, Donate Life—application for voluntary blood donation and Lumiflex—a novel illuminated flexible abdominal retractor. They received seed funding to develop prototypes and implement their ideas.

Conclusion Hacking Cancer was an effective way of developing quick, cost-effective solutions to the common problems faced in cancer care. The pool of local participants developed solutions that were relevant and applicable to the practice setting. This one was the first oncology themed hackathon in the country.

  • quality of health care
  • delivery of health care
  • health care quality
  • access
  • and evaluation
View Full Text

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Contributors Planning and conduct of the work: SL, CRR, PAS, NS and AS. Conduct of the work facilitated: CM, KP, SKR and RV. Analysis and Reporting of the work: SL, CRR, PAS and NS. Manuscript review and final draft preparation: all authors.

  • Funding Public donations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Kasturba Medical College Manipal.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.