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UCB plans epilepsy 'hackathon' to develop new digital tools

Aims to attract developers, designers and digital experts to Hack Epilepsy

UCB Hack Epilepsy hackathon 

UCB will next month lead a 'hackathon' to develop new digital tools for epilepsy patients and their families.

The three-day Hack Epilepsy event will be simultaneously held in the company's Brussels base and in Atlanta in the US and, the company hopes, attract developers, designers and digital experts.

Erik Janssen, vice president of global patient solutions epilepsy at UCB, said: “Epilepsy affects millions of people all over the world. At UCB, we want to support patients, their families and caregivers, with digital solutions that can connect them to valuable sources of knowledge and experience that can make a meaningful difference to their day-to-day living.

“Hackathons are rapidly establishing themselves as a fast, effective way to develop innovative digital healthcare solutions. Creative, highly skilled online developers and designers relish the challenge of coming up with practical, workable prototypes that can be of real value to people with a severe disease such as epilepsy.”

Two years ago a 'hackathon' held by Cancer Research UK saw the charity invite the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon Web Services to help it design and develop a mobile game that could accelerate search for a cure by harnessing 'citizen science'.

UCB's hackathon will see digital experts join forces with epilepsy specialists and patients to build prototype digital tools to support people living with epilepsy.

The biopharmaceutical company will challenge participants to focus on areas such as accessing effective support and reliable information, empowering people to talk about their epilepsy, and knowing what questions to ask following diagnosis.

Explaining the rationale behind the event the company said: "There is a need for new and better digital tools to support people with epilepsy. Tools that can enable them to connect with others. Tools that show them and their caregivers how to get reliable information about epilepsy. Tools that can raise awareness about epilepsy and reduce discrimination. Tools that can potentially change lives."

As well as developing digital solutions, teams at the company's Hack Epilepsy event will compete for prize money for the most innovative prototype. Each team's proposal will be judged according to its:

• Ability to meet the real needs of people with epilepsy
• Creativity, innovation and originality
• Feasibility of implementation
• Quality of presentation and demonstration

In each location, teams will have a chance to win one of three cash prizes – with a first prize of €6,000.

There's more information on the event, which is being organised for UCB by InBioVeritas and HealthStartup on April 24-26, at the Hack Epilepsy website.

13th March 2015

From: Marketing



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