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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000464
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Innovations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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