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As a hacker, you will be part of a team working to build a solution to one of our challenges. The team is going to be counting on you to be engaged and available so that everyone can be productive. Especially at this time, we understand that real life circumstances may come up, but we hope that you will communicate with your team and do your best to contribute to the overall effort.

Q: Who should participate?
A: We encourage nurses, other frontline health workers and healthcare professionals, developers, engineers, designers, and anyone else willing to help solve some of the most immediate healthcare challenges today.

Q: Why is there a focus on nurses?
A: Four million strong in the U.S., nurses are innate innovators, and their proximity to patients offers a unique vantage point to identify the root of many healthcare problems and form solutions. With nurses’ unique perspective on the frontlines of care, especially during these tumultuous times, it is vital that we unlock this knowledge and potential to better manage the pandemic and improve human health.

Q: Why is NurseHack4Health focused on Pandemic Management – Improving Education & Communication?
A: With information about the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly changing, gaining access to reliable public health information has been challenging – for schools, health systems, families, long term care facilities, and communities. Many people – healthcare professionals and families alike – have resorted to social media for information; a source that is widely variable and could lead to misinformation.

Q: Is the hackathon open to people outside of nurses and technology?
A: Absolutely! If you believe your knowledge or experience can contribute to these challenges, please register!

Q: What are the expectations of attendees?
A: Attendees are expected to actively participate in all three days of this virtual hackathon, bring their ideas and passion to the table, maintain a collaborative approach to problem solving, and be prepared to solve COVID-19 healthcare challenges.

Q: Is there any cost to participating in the virtual hackathon?
A: No. Our sponsor organizations have donated both resources and labor to make this event possible. We feel our hackers, mentors, and judges are likewise contributing their time, knowledge, and skills to build solutions that will help nurses and patients on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: How do I participate?
A: Complete the registration, download Microsoft Teams, and join the activities on Fri, November 13th at 7:00pm EST via the link in your registration confirmation email.

Q: Do I need an idea to participate in the Hackathon?
A: We rarely have a shortage of ideas from other hackers so you only need to come with your experience and knowledge around the technology or the topic. The teams will work together to ideate creative solutions!

Q: I’ve registered. What should I do next?
We encourage you to go into Microsoft Teams and join the “Introduce Yourself” channel to start meeting other hackathon participants. You can also join us at the Hacker Happy Hour Meet & Greet on Wednesday, November 4th 7pm EST to get to know your fellow hackers and meet the organizers, mentors, and coaches.

Q: Will there be any training?
A: Yes – You can watch a recording of a Teams Training Session, which covers the basics of Microsoft Teams and goes into detail on how you can use Teams before, during and after the hackathon to get the most out of the event. Watch it via the NurseHack4Health YouTube Channel.

As soon as you register, you will be able to access additional free training content in our Microsoft Teams channel.

You can also find a curated selection of resources here to help you prepare for NurseHack4Health, including what to expect, what makes a good pitch and general nurse innovation skills.

Q: How are teams assembled?
A: Teams will be selected based on attendee interest in the various challenges and themes as well as attend expertise. Teams will have a balance of healthcare providers, engineers, developers, etc. Teams will be formed in advance as much as possible, but we will accommodate individuals who register up thru Friday evening. Teams will work together using Microsoft Teams and have specific breakout rooms.

Q: If I know others attending, can we work together?
A: Yes, when team formation begins, you’ll be able to join a team with specific people. You’ll likely still need to augment your team with other people with diverse skills and we’ll help you do that.

Q: Do I have to stay at the hackathon the entire weekend / until it officially ends?
A: Of course we would like you to participate in the hackathon the entire time, but we understand that circumstances may require you to only participate at certain points throughout the weekend. That is ok. Just make sure your team is aware of your schedule because they are depending on you! Your team will likely struggle if you are not clear on your availability and commitment.

Q: Can I sign up to be a virtual mentor?
A: We are providing a set of mentors that will be available to all teams. If you have any number of skills, please join a solution team and contribute!

Q: What are the prizes?
A: There is no evaluation or judging of solutions since every solution team could come up with something that helps the world! The goal of this hackathon is to improve the global response to COVID-19 and save lives around the world. By the end of the hackathon, each team will ideally walk away from the event having created a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) – a working solutions that can be fast-tracked for further development and testing in a healthcare setting to help improve the global response to COVID-19.

Q: Why would someone participate in a hackathon if there are no prizes and hackers don’t own the IP?
A: COVID-19 is a significant health challenge we are all facing. The goal of this hackathon is to convene teams with a strong desire to help and make a positive difference in COVID-19 patient care and outcomes. Nurses and other health workers will have the needed insights in identifying challenges in caring for COVID-10 patients, while developers, engineers will have the needed tech knowledge. We are open-sourcing solutions for the betterment of all.

Q: The goal of the hackathon is to develop an MVP. What makes a good MVP?
A: A good MVP is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy the immediate target audience and capture the feedback that will further determine the next iteration or version of the product. The MVP should:

  • provide a clear positive impact on human health related to COVID-19
  • be able to demonstrate its initial feature(s)
  • provide a list of known issues and likely next features
  • include any documentation on setup, configuration, and usage of the solution
  • be stored in GitHub to maximize accessibility to nurses and healthcare organizations anywhere in the world.  

Q: Is it possible that the hackathon outcomes could lead to angel funding or a job?
A: The intent of this event isn’t to identify angel funding or provide job leads, but you are collaborating with others so the new relationships you form could help you in many ways. You will undoubtedly learn new, marketable skills by being an active participant.

Q: Do I need to use Microsoft technologies and tools to solve these challenges?
A: We are utilizing Microsoft Teams to host the event kickoff and as a collaboration tool so you can participate in checkpoints, stay aware of announcements, and stay in touch with mentors. Microsoft is also providing limited use of various Azure and Power Platform tools for free during the weekend event. Having said that, if you are comfortable with other technologies to create your MVP, then you are free to pursue those. One other note: the technical mentors for this event have a wide array of skills, but because of their employment, they are most comfortable with Microsoft technologies.

Q: How do I download Microsoft Teams?
A: You can download Microsoft Teams from here: https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads. It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Q: What if I have technical issues downloading Microsoft Teams?
A: There are a variety of support options: https://support.office.com/en-us/teams

Q: What if I still have more questions?
A: We plan to have a web meeting closer to the date of the event that will allow you to ask questions prior to and during the event.

Q: Why Open Source?
A: We believe open source is the best option for NurseHack4Health for the following reasons:

  1. Greater good: By making the solution available in public open source, solution teams lower the barrier for adoption of their solution by individuals and organizations across the entire world.
  2. Eliminate intellectual property tension: The individual contributions of hackers on solution teams are not protected by traditional legal means such as NDAs, ownership, LLCs, etc. Similarly, solutions are provided as-is so there is no culpability on contributors by any user.
  3. Transformation: Healthcare has been slow to adopt open source, and we believe building this muscle within healthcare will help them better catch up and keep up with the rapid pace of innovation.