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Hong Kong hosts MedTech hackathon

Image Credits: HKSTP, Press Release

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) jointly announced that the 2019 DreamCatchers MedTech Hackathon Hong Kong was successfully concluded. The event culminated with an exciting and inspiring final pitching competition.

Themed as “Innovation for Crowded Hospitals”, this year’s event rallied 45 participants from Hong Kong, the United States, South Africa, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia to work together to develop innovations and solutions for easing congestion in hospitals. The team flu. ID was crowned champion for the pitching competition.

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the MedTech programme was designed to foster knowledge exchange between students and professionals from different fields of study. The participants – mainly undergraduate and graduate students from various disciplines such as Medicine, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Engineering, Bioinformatics, and Design – are required to form teams to design and develop their solutions.

The world’s young tech talent received guidance from 36 professional business and technical mentors, who offered valuable advice on a variety of topics to help their ideas become commercially viable, such as business models, prototyping skills and intellectual property protection. On a visit to Queen Mary Hospital, the students shadowed their clinical mentors and identified issues and challenges they face in addressing patients’ overwhelming needs.

An innovation named “UVify” was designed to leverage UV-C light to automate the sanitization of stethoscopes for medical practitioners, gained positive comments from panel judges and became the eventual winner. The championship also won UVify’s makers entrance tickets to the Elevator Pitch Competition (EPiC) 2019 in the upcoming November, an international tech start-up challenge annually organised by HKSTP.

The Director of Biomedical Technology Cluster at HKSTP stated that HKSTP has always believed in cultivating a fertile ground where ideas can come together and solutions can be co-created to overcome challenges faced by society.

The MedTech hackathon was in line with the Hong Kong Government’s aim of enabling young minds to work together to innovate, using their passion and capabilities. Moreover, the aim was to inspire students to further develop and persevere in the area of healthcare innovation, which can deliver benefits to the community.

While biomedical and healthcare technologies are one of the fastest growing clusters at Hong Kong Science Park, this spirit of collaborations among technopreneurs, academia and industry players is expected to diversify what Hong Kong has to offer and continue to strengthen the ecosystem and make the city the leading hub for biomedical and healthcare technologies.

The Vice-President (of Teaching and Learning) at HKU stated that the university was delighted to host the Fourth DreamCatchers MedTech Hackathon in collaboration with HKSTP.

It was noted that the programme was designed to be an international arena wherein students from global universities and higher education institutes could partner with Hong Kong’s next generation of tech talent.

The theme this year (i.e., Innovation for Crowded Hospitals) encouraged participants to adopt an interdisciplinary approach in seeking solutions.

The creators of the programme are confident that the Hackathon will be transformational for students, providing them with significant practical knowledge and experience for their later careers.

Hong Kong’s push for more I&T events

Various arms of the HKSAR Government has been helping support, organise and fund tech events that seek to educate and equip youth with the technological know-how and network links they will need to make successful careers in tech and contribute towards diversifying the Hong Kong economy.

For example, in May 2019, OpenGov Asia reported that a local ocean theme park had partnered with the Education Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region; the Faculty of Education, School of Biological Sciences and Department of Geography of The University of Hong Kong (HKU); and the Hong Kong Association for Science and Mathematics Education (HKASME) to organise the first Ocean Park International STEAM Education Conference.

The aim is to strengthen STEAM education development by bringing together education professionals, researchers and education practitioners to design technological solutions for global environmental issues.

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