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Q: Why Open Source?
A: All ideas and artifacts (e.g., code, documentation, etc.) produced during the event will be publicly available on GitHub and open sourced under the MIT open source license. For individuals or organizations looking for assistance of any kind on closed source efforts or other copyrighted works, startup accelerators and incubators may be preferred alternatives to our hackathon event.

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 initial 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.

Q: Who should participate?
A: Healthcare is complicated and always takes teamwork between clinicians and other professionals. For that reason, we encourage nurses, other frontline health workers, developers, engineers, designers and even patients and families to help solve some of today’s most immediate healthcare challenges.

Q: Why is there a focus on nurses?
A: Nurses are innate innovators, and with four million strong across the U.S., their proximity to patients offers a unique vantage point from which to identify the root of many healthcare problems and generate viable solutions. With nurses’ unique perspective on the front lines 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 Improving Access to Care?
A: The COVID-19 health crisis has presented new health challenges and exacerbated existing ones for patients, communities, and health systems around the world. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the challenges of providing better quality, sustainable and equitable access to care are more pressing now than ever before.

Q: What is expected of attendees?
A: As a Hacker, you will be part of a team working to build a solution for one of our focus areas. 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 help improve healthcare access and delivery.

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: Is the hackathon open to people outside of nursing and technology?
A: Absolutely! Every perspective is important, from the clinicians caring for patients, to the support staff in hospitals and clinics, to family members. We are looking for all the unsung heroes and budding entrepreneurs! If you believe your knowledge or experience can contribute to these challenges, please register!

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. Our Hackers, Coaches and Panelists are likewise contributing their time, knowledge and skills to build solutions that will help improve patient care outcomes and care delivery.

Q: How do I participate?
A: Complete the registration, download Microsoft Teams and join the activities on Friday, May 14 at 6:00 PM 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 topic or technology. The teams will work together to ideate creative solutions!

Q: I’ve registered. What should I do next?
A: We encourage you to get started familiarizing yourself with Microsoft Teams now. Upon registration, you will be added to two teams within Microsoft Teams, a NurseHack4Health Community team with full access, and the event space which will have limited access until May 7. We will provide periodic updates and resources in the NurseHack4Health team’s General Channel in the weeks leading up to the hackathon. You can also join us at one of our upcoming Info Sessions to learn more about participating in NurseHack4Health or our Workshops to help power-up your innovation skills.

Q: Will there be any training?
A: Yes, in the days leading up to NurseHack4Health, we will be hosting several Workshops to help power-up your innovation skills: Exploring Design Thinking, Mastering Microsoft Teams, Crafting the Perfect Pitch, NurseHack4Health 101 and Understanding a Minimally Viable Product (MVP). These sessions will also be recorded and made available later along with live Q+A sessions for any Hackers unable to tune in live.

You can also 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.

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: Most teams will be formed on Friday evening (May 14) following a scheduled Problem Pitching session where Hackers will announce what specific problems they are interested in and populations they are seeking to help. In the spirit of the event, even if you feel you have a viable solution before things get kicked off, we ask that you pitch your problem and who you are seeking to help to recruit teammates. Teams will work together using Microsoft Teams and have their own channels to work in.

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 Coaches 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 may have the potential to improve healthcare access and delivery. By the end of the hackathon, each team will ideally walk away from the event having created a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) – a working solution that can be fast-tracked for further development and testing in a healthcare setting to help improve access to care.

In addition to improving access to care, the hackathon is also an opportunity to flex innovation skills and to learn. We have Information Sessions, Workshops and other curated resources to help you prepare for the hackathon. Coaches are available to assist teams with problem identification and breakdown, idea development, and developing your pitch throughout the weekend. Each team will receive detailed written feedback on their pitches from the panelists. 

And for the first time in the NurseHack4Health series, any nurse who participates in “NurseHack4Health: Improving Access to Care” can apply for the chance to be randomly selected for a complimentary scholarship seat in the Drexel – SONSIEL Nurse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. The two-day, virtual program on June 4-5, 2021 is designed for any nurse interested in further developing their innovation and entrepreneurial skills. Following the hackathon, nurses will also be invited to submit their ideas to improve access to care in a new Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge for the opportunity to receive grant funding up to $100,000 and mentoring from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to help bring their solution to life.

Q: Why would someone participate in a hackathon if there are no prizes and hackers don’t own the IP?
A: Individuals should participate because the solutions generated during the event have significant support afterwards from our sponsors and the NH4H community. Regarding intellectual property rights, though the hackathon is being run under an open source license, all development following the initial weekend can still be claimed and patented by individual teams and be the basis of successful ventures/startups.

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 improving healthcare access and delivery
  • be able to demonstrate its initial feature(s)
  • provide a list of known issues and likely next features
  • 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: 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:

Q:What if I still have more questions?
A: Consider attending our Info Sessions and Workshops leading up to NurseHack4Health to ask some of your questions in real time to our NurseHack4Health organizer team!