Saudi hosts world's largest healthcare hackathon

One thousand Saudis took part in hackathon to develop health technology

Tags: HackathonPrincess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU) (www.pnu.edu.sa)Saudi Arabia
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Saudi hosts world's largest healthcare hackathon The hackathon aimed at Reimagining Healthcare in Saudi Arabia.
By  Mark Sutton Published  December 3, 2018

More than 1,000 young Saudi hackers took part in the world's largest health hackathon at Princess Noura University, Riyadh, on Thursday.

The hackathon aimed at ‘Reimagining Healthcare in Saudi Arabia', and attracted clinicians, engineers, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs, to develop solutions in ten different areas of healthcare.

The event was organized by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) with support from Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators, and in collaboration with MIT Hacking Medicine.

The challenges involved the design of biomedical technologies towards meeting a target of over 20 biotech startups. The winners were announced at the end of the competition.

"Aligned with the Saudi Ministry of Health's Model of Care, the healthcare challenges, ranging from - blockchain and AI for health, cancer innovation track, and assistive technology and ageing - are aimed to energise and connect the best talents across the health ecosystem in the health and technology sectors to solve the healthcare's biggest challenges and teach healthcare entrepreneurship and digital strategies to scale medicine in the Kingdom," said Dr Anas Alfaris, Vice President for Research Institutes at KACST during his opening speech at the hackathon .

He emphasised that the Hackathon will help instill the culture of creativity and innovation in the field of digital health among Saudi youth who will compete to generate new ideas that will improve and enhance the medical services and level of healthcare in the Kingdom.

"It is our privilege to host the world's largest health hackathons in Saudi Arabia. The program will offer a collaborative environment for the best and brilliant minds to be a part of an exciting and inspiring event that will impact the way healthcare is delivered to millions of people in Saudi Arabia and across the globe," said Nawaf Al Sahhaf, Chief Executive Officer of the Badir Program for Technology Incubators and Accelerators.

The event included challenges for mental health, cognitive health, connected healthcare solutions, assistive technologies, blockchain and AI use in healthcare and forensic science, data science, wearables, cancer treatment, dental care and human-centric design.

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