RIT Hackathon-like Challenges Students to Envision Health Innovation

First held at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008, the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival produces amazing innovations every year. This time around, the innovation contest is a health innovation challenge. RIT President Bill Destler has challenged students to develop a lifestyle app, physical device, or really anything that improves health in some way.

Like a hackathon, past challenges have focused on things like building or modifying the fastest electric vehicles, building drones that are then put through an obstacle course, and creating products that allow people with differing abilities to participate more fully in society.

The prize for this year’s event, which is now underway, has a unique twist. On the line is $1,000 cash or an antique banjo from Destler’s personal collection. You might say that the winner will have some pickin’ to do.

hackathon like challenges

About Imagine RIT

The innovation contest is open to all RIT students, with a minimum of two students with different majors per team. Teams will present their submissions to the public at the Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 6, 2017.

Organizers are excited about the fact that innovations produced in this challenge could conceivably have a very wide, very positive impact. They echo the words of Ray Kurzweil, a successful inventor and innovator who is influential in the development of artificial intelligence, who has said that technology, almost more than biology, will be the source of more advances in healthcare that benefit Americans and people around the world.

Contest participants will be expected to:

  • Describe their concept
  • Outline a plan to develop a prototype for exhibition on May 6, 2017
  • Indicate whether it will be a digital or a physical product prototype
  • Define their target audience/end users
  • Describe how they envision the product will meet the needs of the end users
  • Describe the user experience/usability as they envision it
  • Briefly discuss the potential commercial impact of their concept as well as possible challenges to creating and/or delivering it to the market
  • Optionally provide a cost-benefit analysis

Rooting for the Creative Minds at RIT

At Skild, we love, and help coordinate, all types of innovation contests and hackathons. But those that have a positive impact on healthcare are especially exciting to watch, because they have the potential to impact us all. We’ll be eagerly following the Imagine RIT event.