Health tech solutions Recovery Companion and Cureassist made top five during JCI hackathon

The hackathon took place from 5 to 7 November as part of JCI World Congress and provided a unique experience to participants from almost 50 countries as they were tasked to form their ideas into functioning businesses or solve noticeable social issues in just 50 hours. The health tech solutions that made it to the top five are a secure social network for cancer patients and an AI-powered platform for medical assessments and diagnostics.

Piret Hirv, Connected Health Cluster Manager, admits that both teams progressed rapidly in 48 hours: “At first, neither team was sure whether they would be submitting their idea at all, but in two days they gained enough confidence to finish in the top five.”

Cancer patients experience high levels of anxiety and depression as a result of their condition. The various social networks connecting cancer patients, however, are insecure and engagement in forum discussions is low and not universally accessible. Recovery companion is an app that matches cancer patients who receive treatment and have similar interests and a similar diagnosis to give them a platform to ask one another for advice.

Cureassist is an AI-powered medical assessment and diagnostics platform that allows users to perform a first level assessment of their health and receive a diagnosis from a health professional, gain access to diagnostics, pharmacies and service providers focused on preventive services without ever leaving home.

“Both teams touched on issues that are relevant in society,” explained Hirv, “and if we add to this their confidence and belief that they are working towards the right thing, then that is what drove their success.” “The cluster unites health service providers, health tech companies and all other key interest groups in the field, allowing us to support new as well as more established companies,” added Piret Hirv.

“Estonia hosted over 4000 foreign visitors from all over the world, who also learned of the digital success story of Estonia,” said Siim Lepsik, organiser of the Digital Innovation Days. “For this purpose, we invited leading Estonian tech companies to share their stories and vision of the future. Those interested in creating similar success stories were given a chance to do so in our 50-hour hackathon.”

“Many Estonians are familiar with the concept of the hackathon,” said Kadi Villers from Tehnopol Science Park, organiser of the hackathon, “and in our digital society it seems perfectly reasonable to take an idea and turn it into a company in a couple of days. However, this is not the case in many other countries. We are especially pleased with the high level and professionalism of participants. Many of the teams were put together during the hackathon, which allowed for, among others, the combination of Estonian ideas, Japanese development skills and Finnish marketing competence.”

Altogether 30 ideas and challenges were presented at the hackathon and 16 of them were taken up for development during the event.

The winner of this year’s hackathon was selected by investors who set their sights on team Pagerr. The solution proposed by the winning team makes use of clever positioning to optimise the work of printing houses and print on previously unused portions of paper sheets. Their solution is eco-friendly and cost-effective since unused paper would normally end up in the bin.

The hackathon is a three-day development marathon where ideas are brought to life, and this year it took place from 5 to 7 November at Tallinn Creative Hub as part of the Digital Innovation Days of JCI World Congress. The event was dedicated to digital innovation and technology and featured presentations by digital experts from Estonia and neighbouring countries.

The hackathon was organised by JCI Estonia with Tehnopol Science Park.

For more information on the hackathon visit https://www.jciwc2019.com/digital-innovation/