Andrew RichardsTo achieve its mission of tackling health care challenges facing underserved communities across the state, the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is hosting its inaugural hackathon April 13-15 at the WSU Spokane campus.

The hackathon is an intense, three-day technology sprint in which attendees form teams, collaboratively identify and build technology solutions designed to solve rural and underserved health care issues, and present their solutions to a panel of judges for prizes.

“Technology and innovation are critically important in health care, especially as we look to increase access and improve care to those in rural and underserved communities,” said Andrew Richards, college technology incubator officer at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “This event not only challenges our medical students to become innovators and stewards of health care technology, it’s an opportunity to connect problem solvers from across the region to solve some of our most difficult health care challenges.”

The event will kick off on Friday evening with brief presentations from community representatives and mentors about their health care challenges and the expertise they can share with participants, as well as social ice-breakers and team formation. Teams will reconvene on Saturday morning and work through the day and night to develop their unique solutions, then present to the judging panel on Sunday morning. Food and beverages from some of Spokane’s best-known vendors will keep participants fueled throughout the event, and prizes for the top solutions will be awarded.

College students, patients, caregivers, health care professionals, faculty members, computer programmers, software developers and business leaders are encouraged to apply to be part of a team. Applications are due March 16, and 60 individuals will be selected to participate. There is no cost to apply or participate in the hackathon, however, out-of-town participants will be responsible for their own travel and lodging arrangements.

For more information and to apply to participate, visit the hackathon website.