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The MedTech Boston Guide to Planning a Healthcare Hackathon

The Logistics

Once a theme has been chosen, hackathon organizers face the daunting task of finding a date and venue for a large, technology-dependent event. Many healthcare hackathons draw participants heavily from universities, medical schools and business schools, so hackathons are typically during the fall or spring. “Fall is a really popular time for hackathons,” says Melissa Spinks of the Brigham Innovation Hub. “It’s also important to avoid scheduling your hackathon on the same weekend as another healthcare hackathon, because most draw similar groups of participants.”

Several local hackathons, such as the MedStart Innovation Challenge at Tufts Medical School and Hacking Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, will take place in clinical settings this year. “The hospital setting is nice because it’s easier for clinicians to come,” says Colucci. “It is even better because clinicians are in their work environment. They can say, ‘Let’s just go to this room so I can show you what I’m talking about.’”

Generally, healthcare hackathons tend to take place at universities or hospitals because those institutions have the space to host many participants and because some of them co-sponsor healthcare hackathons themselves. Here are some of the locations of last year’s local hackathons:

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Brendan Pease

Brendan Pease

    Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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    1. Laura Henze Russell says:

      This was such a great event that I registered for @IBMWatson #Hackathon May 4-5 in NYC. Who else from GrandHack is going?

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