A tech geek, a designer and a doctor walk into a bar. Wait, scratch that. A tech geek, a designer and a doctor walk into MaRS. Now that’s better!

Hacking Health is a global movement that brings together healthcare professionals, technology gurus and designers to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to frontline healthcare problems. By using a hacker-inspired approach that combines frontline user experience with help from diverse talent, innovative concepts can be generated and tested more quickly.

Giving healthcare an upgrade

Join us on March 30 at MaRS as we kick off the Hacking Health Design Challenge hosted by the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of OTN, will announce this year’s challenges and give Hacking Health participants an opportunity to start formulating and designing their next Big Idea. OTN will also announce exciting prize packages, totalling $10,000 cash plus in-kind support for winning teams. Teams will then be formed and attend a design session facilitated by Usability MattersRegistration is now open on the website.

After the kick off at MaRS, teams will go virtual for 8 weeks leading up to the National e-Health Conference. Bi-weekly meet ups will be held during this time, with workshops and speakers to keep you on track and motivated. The teams will then meet at the conference (May 31 to June 2) and work over the course of 48 hours to tweak, validate, and test their prototypes before taking the stage and presenting to an audience of health, business and tech leaders and a panel of judges.


Here are some of the previous projects started at Hacking Health.

  • Exo-glove: A wearable sensor device for the hands that results in fewer computer work-related ailments.
  • Jooay: A mobile app that helps children with disabilities and their families to locate accessible leisure opportunities.
  • Bloodline: A cloud-based system that aims to provide targeted communications to donors of specific blood types through alerts.

Read more about previous projects completed at Hacking Health in TorontoMontrealSaskatoon and Vancouver.


In addition to cash prizes, developers and designers will have access to Microsoft’s BizSpark suite of services, which includes:

  • $150 per month for three years of cloud services on Microsoft Azure;
  • access to over $13,000 in free software and tools; and
  • developer store accounts.

See full details on the available perks here.

Early bird registration ends March 20

Registration is now open with early-bird pricing of $25 for individuals and $125 for a team of up to 10 participants. Visit the Hacking Health Design Challenge website to register and use the following code to receive a further 50% discount on registration: hh-mars.

Watch the following video to learn more about the event.

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Sarah Aspler

Sarah Aspler was a Communications Assistant at MaRS. Sarah recently graduated with a bachelor of technology from Ryerson University in Toronto. See more…