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Hackathon Success Worth Building On

INTEROPen: OneLondon Hackathon
Event and Feedback Summary

In June 2019 INTEROPen presented its OneLondon Hackathon, offering members of the INTEROPen community the chance to ‘hack’ solutions to challenges facing this and other LCHRE areas and test LHCRE-toLHCRE connectivity. Below is a summary of the event and feedback received from those who took part.

Quick links:

On June 27, 2019, INTEROPen joined forces with the team from the OneLondon Local Health and Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) to host a hackathon. The event was held at De Vere West One and attended by 110 delegates from across the INTEROPen community, including members from 29 different vendor organisations. It was facilitated by specialists from OneLondon, NHS Digital, NHSX and Airelogic.

The aim of this event was to bring together health IT suppliers from across the INTEROPen community to help ‘hack’ towards resolving both architectural and technological challenges facing OneLondon and other LHCRE areas. On the day of the hackathon, hack teams were invited to focus on overcoming the following:

  • The bidirectional sharing of information including Personal Health Record (PHR) systems
  • The interconnectivity of the National Record Locator
  • Enabling connectivity with other LHCRE areas (including Yorkshire and Humberside and Wessex)

The event also offered the opportunity to provide an introduction to INTEROPen and an update on progress made by the OneLondon LHCRE. This is a copy of the presentation by Luke Readman, Director of Digital Transformation for London, Chief Officer of OneLondon.

At the end of the hackathon, hack teams were invited to deliver short 3-minute presentations of their work from the day, including any obstacles, challenges overcome and achievements. There was a total of 15 teams and presentations – most of which can be found here (although many chose to present demos from their own devices so some details are being chased for future sharing).

The audience was invited to use the app to vote for the three hack teams which had impressed them the most. The award for best solution went to Dovetail Labs, who won the greatest number of votes by a small margin.

A full description of the hackathon and its aims can be found here

The planning of this event was led by Kate Dawes and Neil Robinson from OneLondon’s Technology Team, and Helen Young from INTEROPen. It was supported through by the INTEROPen Co-Chairs, Luke Readman and David Hancock, and Vendor Representative Ben McAlister.

In keeping with INTEROPen values, all vendors from across the community were invited to both take part in the planning as well as attend the hackathon event. Volunteers formed a core team who took part in weekly planning WebEx sessions, together with the event leads. Information was shared openly on the Ryver collaboration platform throughout the planning process and during the hackathon itself.

Participants were invited to ‘hack’ solutions using the CareConnect FHIR resources curated by the INTEROPen community. These profiles were approved for testing at a Board of Exception as part of the INTEROPen Board, which included contributions from technical leads from NHS Digital.

A dedicated folder was created on the INTEROPen Community G-Drive to provide open access to resources that would help teams prepare for the day. This included 3 sub-folders created by the core planning team for Interactions, the National Record Locator, and On The Day.

The information transferred on the day centered on two patients: Michael, whose history has been developed over time and previously used at INTEROP SUMMIT 2017 and the two previous INTEROPen hackathons); and Janet, whose patient data was developed specifically for this event.

Feedback received in person at the event itself, on, via social media including Twitter (under the #FHIRHack hashtag used for all our hackathons), and blog posts (see Written Output section below). Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with some useful learning for future events of this nature. was used to ask the audience for some immediate feedback, including the question ‘Use one word to describe how you found this event’, to which the following answers were received:

Full poll results and questions can be found on under #FHIRHack19.

Following the event, we took the time to develop a feedback survey that would generate more in-depth information on what was achieved on the day and where we could improve. Feedback has been collated from responses submitted by 14 individuals across 11 organisations. All responses are anonymous and the 11 organisations are as follows:

My Medical Record (University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust)
hearth health
Mayfield IS
Stalis Ltd
Factor 50

The following summaries provide an overview of the type of participant this event attracted, as well as their general feedback and technical details. Questions which relate to the running of the event (i.e. rating food and venue), were asked for the function of the questionnaire (e.g. contact details), or whose responses reveal identifying information have been removed as promised in the introduction to the feedback survey. The following responses have been taken directly from the survey format and not edited in any way. They may contain grammatical and/or typographical errors.

Forms response chart. Question title: 3) Role (tick all that apply). Number of responses: 14 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: 6) How well developed were the following patient stories:. Number of responses: .
Forms response chart. Question title: 7) Did this hackathon help translate how level 2 normalised and standardised data sharing might look?. Number of responses: 13 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: 8.1.) Were you able to share with these organisations on the day?. Number of responses: 11 responses.
Forms response chart. Question title: 9) Please rate how helpful you believe the following would be if provided for future hackathons:  . Number of responses: .

Forms response chart. Question title: 13) How open and transparent would you rate the spirit of engagement among vendors?. Number of responses: 14 responses.

Written output
In addition to the feedback received via this survey, a number of attendees have already published or promised to produce further write-ups of the event.

These have been published/promised by the following organisations and are currently being collated for publication on the INTEROPen website: 

  1. Dovetail Labs (Will Nash – already published)
  2. InterSystems (David Hancock – already published) + tech team blog to follow
  3. OneLondon (Neil Robinson – in draft)
  4. Emis (Andy Williams)
  5. Sitekit (Rob Walker – blog promised)
  6. Synanetics (Rob Organ)
  7. Factor 50 (Laura Corcoran promised further feedback)
  8. NHS Digital (John Farenden)

Conclusion and Future
From the feedback received and the enormous technical progress made or initiated on the day, it can be concluded that INTEROPen’s OneLondon Hackathon was a great success. The objectives for the day were tackled with enthusiasm by the teams and there were a great many more solutions developed and proposed as an outcome than anticipated.

It is clear that there is an appetite for future events of this nature and, in particular, with a focus on connecting the LHCRE areas and resolving real issues found in each LHCRE area, with solutions that have the potential to scale across the health and social care ecosystem.

Enthusiasm for this and the possibility of future INTEROPen hackathons has been forthcoming from across the vendor community and from the centre (NHSX and NHS Digital), including financial commitments to support the running of such events, with the potential to host a ‘roadshow’ stopping at each LHCRE area over the next 12 months.

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