Ready, Set, Innov8:
Teens, Adults Invited To Hack for Pediatric Health Care Quandaries

Put your problem-solving chops to work. The Children's Health event encourages gamification, augmented reality to solve for age-old pediatric health care problems.

There's even a no-code challenge.

Innov8 4 Kids Children's Health Hackathan

Yo ho, yo ho, a coder/innovator’s life for me.
 – Modified from Disney’s “Peter Pan”

Let’s face it: Coders and other innovators live the life many teens dream about — staying up late, gorging on pizza and Cheesy Poofs, while conniving with besties to obliterate problems. Washing it all down with energy drinks (dyed a hue unknown to even Crayola)? Check.

Kids in ninth grade and up will get a taste of Innovator Life via the Children’s Health newly launched hackathon — the Innov8 4 Kids Challenge — which invites tweens and adults alike to demonstrate their problem-solving chops to find new solutions to age-old pediatric health care problems.

Though there are prizes for winners (including a $1,000 first-place award), all competitors will win, from an experience perspective.

“Participants will have access to mentors with health care and immersive technology (augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming) development experience,” said Micky Fokken, director, care delivery innovation lab at Dallas-based Children’s Health. “We’ll provide an educational wrap-around experience to empower participants of all skill levels.”

That’s right; according to Fokken, participants don’t even need to know how to code.

No code, no prob

“We’re excited about this part of the event, and we will have a special prize category called the ‘No Code Challenge’ for participants who want to create AR, VR, or games without any programming,” he said. “This will include image tracking, 3D object recognition, 360 video VR experiences, and many other cool immersive technologies.”

One tool available will be the Unity platform, which is used by those in the automotive, gaming, film, and even architectural design industries, for visualizing solutions. The challenge is placing an emphasis on using mixed reality and gamification for solving health care problems.

Various roles of competing teams — including design, business, market analyst — will allow also non-coders to contribute as well. Individuals can sign up and be assigned to teams, or entire innovation teams can sign up together.

BYOI—or choose from the ‘Idea Grab Bag’

The challenge will occur over three weeks, leading with a series of optional mini-challenges — starting on June 28 — and will culminate with a three-day virtual challenge, July 16-18, according to information provided by Fokken.

The exact intended target of all this energy and innovating, according to Fokken, is up to the competitors. Or not.

“Participants can bring their own ideas, or choose an idea from the ‘Idea Grab Bag,’ that includes ideas provided by Children’s Health staff and affiliates,” according to information from Fokken.

Entries will be judged based on their impact on pediatric health care, feasibility, and creativity, according to Fokken. Bonus points will be awarded for the use of technologies provided by sponsor companies, which includes Microsoft.

For more information

To look at the schedule of events, sign up, or to learn more, click here. Children’s Health is also looking for mentors and event sponsors to sign up as well.

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