What do healthcare professionals, programmers and designers have in common? The answer: HackingHealth North.

Over the weekend I participated in this absolutely wonderful event. HackingHealth North was designed to mix hackers with healthcare professionals who have a deep understanding of problems that need to be solved in their industry. Through the collaboration of these fundamentally opposite individuals with very different skill sets, real results were achieved. To find out even more, go to www.hackinghealth.ca.

Hacking away

Here's what my HackingHealth weekend entailed:

Friday night: Pitches were delivered. Every “pitcher” had 1 minute to convey their idea to a room full of excited participants. Once this was over we could go and chat with pitchers whose project we would like to join in on… I teamed up with Dr. Chris Naylor who had pitched Pregnancy North. We were to deliver an App that would showcase local content about Pregnancy and beyond that was specific to the Yukon. When all was said and done, my team consisted of: A doctor, midwife, genetic counselor, four programmers and me as the projects designer.

Saturday: It was a very long day, but totally amazing how much we got done. After a team building exercise, (which my team won!! Tallest spaghetti and marshmallow tower champs!) we got down to business. We worked out a project brief and strategy to help focus our idea and then took off on our individual tasks. An App site plan was produced and the programmers were off and running. We brainstormed a name for our App and after much deliberation we decided on Yukon Baby for its catchiness and local recognition. This was when, for me, the designing began. First up logo, then came the overall look–which meant figuring out how it was going to feel, and how users were going to interact with the App. While I was busy with design the Healthcare professionals on our team were figuring out content. The process was very collaborative and supportive, with a really wonderful group of passionate people.

Sunday: After Saturday’s huge effort we had a prototype that worked!! The main task for Sunday was then whipping up a coherent way to to present the App to the judging panel. After another jam-packed day, we presented Yukon Baby to a room full people. Check out all the presentations here. Yukon Baby is at the 20 minute and 40 second mark.

Our app

A bit of an overview of all the projects here.

After so much time, energy and collaborative effort we were really happy to win the Design Consulation Award! The judges were really impressed by Yukon Baby and what they described as “the best Human Interface.” This was so great to hear, as from the beginning we wanted to make sure that our App was user friendly and approachable–we even included this goal in our project brief!

Our team, after 2 full on days, still smiling and proud of our achievements.

We plan to keep moving the project forward in the future and hope to have the Yukon Baby app available in the territory in the next few months! I’ll keep you posted!



by Al

Well done Kristen! I especially like that, after all the work put into it, you’re planning to get it there as a functioning app. Who’s spearheading or sponsoring that effort?


by Kristen

Hey Al, having a working prototype certainly makes everyone more determined to get the App complete. We will be looking for funding to keep on moving forward with the App. So thats really the next step for us. Ill definitely be keeping everyone up to date on the progress on this and hopefully there will be a downloadable App ready in the next few months :)


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