Meet the HaTCHathon judgesAs the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Australia gears up to host its Health and Technology Challenge (HaTCHathon™) event on 9th – 11th of September in Sydney, Mark Bouris and our expert panel of judges share why they are excited about participating in the open innovation “hackathon” style event.

HaTCHathon (#hackathon #HaTCHathon16) offers a unique opportunity for local startups, health technology experts, entrepreneurs and students to participate in a weekend-long competition, aimed at developing innovative, tech-based solutions for the most pressing health issues facing Australians.

HaTCHathon participants will have the opportunity to present their innovative solutions to an expert judging panel comprising primarily of senior executives from the health sector:

  • Dr Linda Swan, Chief Medical Officer, Medibank Private
  • Dr Paul Nicolarakis, Managing Director and CEO, Lorica Health;
  • Margaret Wright, Complex Program Advisor, Director & Author; and
  • Gavin Fox- Smith, Managing Director, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices ANZ.

The weekend long event will be officially opened by Mark Bouris, Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road and host of The Mark Bouris Show – an online venture aimed to broadcast and grow innovation in Australia.

What excites you about the HaTCHathon event?
Mark: J&J is one of the biggest companies in the world. To see a huge organisation put so much focus and commitment into harnessing local Australian research and development is hugely exciting. The resources such a respected group of companies has globally means that HaTCHathon participants will get exposure to some important people who could help turn their ideas into a commercial reality. For Australian startups, entrepreneurs and students, this is an opportunity they shouldn’t miss!

Linda: At Medibank, we are all about helping our customers achieve better health. I’m excited to be involved in the HaTCHathon event as participants will be asked to solve some of the biggest health issues currently facing Australians. To potentially be in the midst of an idea or solution that could one day tackle a problem like obesity, is something I definitely want to be a part of.

Paul: While it’s true that many problems in health care can be addressed with technology, this has to be done with an understanding of the context with which the various aspects of the health care system work together. I’m looking forward to seeing how some of Australia’s brightest minds take on these challenges on with thoughtful, innovative solutions.

Margaret: As a technology change consultant, I’ve seen how technology has drastically changed the way businesses and individuals operate. I’m excited to see the ideas that come from our HaTCHathon participants as there is no limit to their creativity or clever thinking. The possibility that their ideas might one day become a commercial reality is all the more rewarding.

Gavin: Australia is home to some amazing innovators, problem solvers and entrepreneurs. They will be key to facing the challenges of the future. The HaTCHathon event allows us to tap into these amazing thinkers with a view to helping tackle some of the country’s greatest health challenges. Knowing that these solutions will be within reach is exciting for all Australians.

Why did you get involved in HaTCHathon?

Mark: I love the concept of HaTCHathon. It has clear synergies with what I am passionate about, which is identifying, nurturing and growing innovation in Australia. Being able to officially launch the event, meet the participants and see their enthusiasm for tackling some really big health issues is
something I’m really looking forward to.

Linda: As a registered medical practitioner, I know first-hand how critical it is to address some of the nation’s key healthcare challenges. Everything from improving medication compliance, to giving Australians in rural and remote areas better access to quality healthcare – these are all significant issues facing our community today that must be resolved. I want to see improved health outcomes for all Australians, and HaTCHathon is going to open our eyes to what is possible.

Paul: Lorica Health is a health care analytics firm and member of the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre group of companies, one of the most successful, research-driven, innovation organisations in Australia. We understand the critical importance of finding and developing great
talent and fresh ideas, and that’s what the HaTCHathon is all about.

Margaret: Technological innovation has so much attention in Australia at the moment. To see how this can be applied to solve real-world health problems will hopefully enable others to see what is not only possible, but also practical.

Gavin: At Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, we are passionate about finding and deploying comprehensive, integrated healthcare solutions that take into account the world in which we live today. This is why the HaTCHathon event is focused on innovations that address disease along the entire spectrum of health. A great idea can come from anywhere and anyone, so we are looking outside of our company and industry to help realise this potential.

Why would you encourage people to participate in HaTCHathon?

Linda: The opportunity to make a difference. You could be helping to solve one of Australia’s biggest health problems – imagine being a part of that!

Mark: Without a doubt, the exposure to some of Australia’s leading health and technology businesses. In the area of business or product innovation, forming relationships with key people who have the expertise to help you turn an original idea into a reality is priceless.

Paul: If you’re interested in using technology to solve problems, then there aren’t many bigger challenges than those facing not just Australia’s health care system, but many health care systems around the world.

Margaret: To witness first-hand the unique role the technology industry will play in the future of our healthcare industry in Australia.

Gavin: Being able to connect with the nation’s brightest minds and using your skills, creativity and innovative thinking to tackle some of our greatest healthcare challenges.

Event details
Date: 9th-11th September

  • 9th September: Event kick-off, briefing and team formation
  • 10th September: Hackathon event commences
  • 11th September: Pitching to judging panel

Venue: Billy Blue Design School: 46-52 Mountain Street, Ultimo, NSW.

Take part in the HaTCHathon