As we prepare for HaTCHathonTM 2016, we thought we’d touch base with the teams from the 2014 event. Where are they now? What had they done? And what does the future hold for them? The first update in the series is an interview with Philip Goebel, CEO and Co-Founder of Quanticare Technologies in Melbourne, Australia.
HaTCH: Why do you think it’s important to innovate around healthcare?
Phil Goebel: Healthcare is the most exciting industry to be a part of right now. There are enormous challenges facing healthcare systems around the world – from cost sustainability, ageing demographics, and the need for better chronic disease treatment and management. But within these challenges lie opportunities to find creative solutions that improve lives and create value. For me, innovation is the process of addressing these challenges, finding solutions and implementing them in the real world and finding business opportunities. I believe that innovation has always played a key role in building a better healthcare system and will continue to do so but for the first time the tools to innovate are more accessible and the pace of innovation is becoming increasingly rapid.
HaTCH: Why might hackathons be a useful means of solving problems in healthcare?
Phil Goebel: Innovating in healthcare is complex. There are many stakeholders and user needs that must be addressed with any solution. Hackathons provide a great opportunity to bring many of these stakeholder groups together for a short intense period to rapidly brainstorm, discuss and prototype potential solutions. Too often, innovators and entrepreneurs work on ideas and solutions in isolation for too long. This can lead to a lot of wasted effort and a solution which will not address the real world complexities of healthcare. Building teams of engineers, clinicians, patients and other industry experts are the best way to create unique and successful solutions and hackathons are a great way to build those teams!
HaTCH: Tell us about some of the opportunities that the last HaTCH event opened up for you.
Phil Goebel: Our participation in the last Hatch event has been a key driver in the success Quanticare has found so far. Building networks within the healthcare industry can be very challenging since many healthcare organisations are very complex and you are never sure who you should talk to. Winning the Hatch event and our relationship with J&J and Janssen has opened doors and gave us a shortcut to meet the right people in relevant organisations.
HaTCH: Was it good to work with J&J and Janssen? What did the company do to help your product in its global expansion plans?
Phil Goebel: When we entered Hatch we had a very rough proof of concept device and a lot of market research and feedback behind us. The help that J&J and Janssen gave us significantly accelerated product development to refine our prototype and more clearly define our end product. Working with J&J and Janssen has been an absolute pleasure – the skills and experience that the people we worked with helped to mentor and nurture important business skills in the healthcare industry.
HaTCH: Why should designers and developers attend the next HaTCHathonTM?
Phil Goebel: The opportunities in digital health are exploding. If designers and developers have not yet been exposed to building solutions in the healthcare industry the hackathon is the perfect place to be oriented and be introduced to the pressing problems and opportunities in healthcare. I’m sure its going to be a great place to meet people with complementary skills that are also passionate about finding creative solutions in healthcare.
HaTCH: What are you most looking forward to seeing coming out of the event?
Phil Goebel: Digital technology is moving so fast I love seeing new solutions that use the latest the innovations and technology platforms to address problems in healthcare. I get the most excited by projects which are technically very complex and challenging but to the user works simply and effortlessly.