Every city has problems, but this year’s HackathonCLT had solutions. A lot of them.
Charlotte had its seventh annual Hackathon, where over 100 teams gathered at the Discovery Place. Participants took part in the coding competition designed to use computer science to provide local solutions to acute problems.
This year, hosted by Charlotte-based Tresata, the competition asked teams to come up with creative solutions to increase under-served groups’ access to healthcare. According to The Charlotte Observer, over 120,000 people are uninsured in the city.
Sherrell Dorsey, who works for Tresata, helped organize the event. She said they chose this year’s theme as a way to involve the coding community in making the city a better place.
She explained that it was about “striving toward this goal to make Charlotte one of the healthiest cities the world.”
The winning team, Welch Labs, created a heatmap of Mecklenburg County for each of Medlink’s six clinics to represent where patients were coming from, and in turn where the highest number of disease cases originated. The also created features to alert patients, such as a text alert for missing appointments.
Welch Labs is a local company specializing in algorithm production and maintenance for businesses dealing with video and image data.
The team consisted of Chang Hsin Lee, a data scientist at Lowes, Kurt Dowswell, a software developer at BAM Tech, and Stephen Welch, the founder of Welch Labs.
Dorsey said the winning team was based off of implementation ability, presentation and model quality, among other factors.
“It was a lot of high energy competition,” she said. “It was really all-encompassing, and there were a lot of great ideas on the table, for sure.”
But only one idea can win. Welch Labs’ team gets $15,000 for themselves and another $15,000 worth of prize money for the implementation of their solution. They’ll work with the UNCC Academy of Population Health Innovation over the next year to build it.