As with any hackathon or innovation event, it can be difficult to describe the sensation of actually being there. The intensity of activity, the pressure of time and the energy of the teams make for an intoxicating mix of innovation, ideas and technology – and HaTCHathon 2016 was all of this and more.

Over the course of the weekend of 9th-11th September 2016, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, collaborated with startup mentors and subject matter experts from Johnson & Johnson Medical and Janssen-Cilag to help solve some of the toughest challenges facing health care today. In a single weekend, ten teams formed, created and pitched their solutions to a panel of healthcare and technology industry experts. The teams went from ideas to solutions in a little over 24 hours.

In some instances, these team members had never met before. There were students, professional healthcare practitioners, lawyers and programmers, designers, product managers and robotics engineers. There was even a rocket scientist. All these participants were thrown together by circumstance – but found a powerful way to collaborate and demonstrate a working prototype of their solution – a “minimum viable product” – in a remarkably short period of time.

As HaTCHathon judge, Margaret Wright – Head of Strategy, Risk and People, National Narrowband Network explained, “There is so much talent in our young people and the last few days have really brought that out for me. All you need to do is give people an opportunity, create the right environment and amazing things can happen.”