Online healthcare IT community launches Virginia coding event

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The growth and prevalence of small, agile development teams has revolutionized the technology sector, and healthcare IT is no exception. Online technology community Health 2.0 recently announced a coding competition aimed at attracting software development talent from Virginia, reports Healthcare IT News.

The event, named the Hokie Health Code-a-Thon, will be held in Blacksburg, Virginia, on April 13-14. Teams of medical professionals, software developers, students and entrepreneurs will compete for the grand prize of $2,500, while runners-up will receive $500 each. Judges will prioritize entries that aim to improve patient safety, quality of care and operational efficiency.

“We’re excited to bring this developer challenge to the Roanoke Blacksburg region, home to world-class universities, medical schools, health systems and highly trained software, hardware and other technology professionals,” Indu Subaiya, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Health 2.0, told the news source. “These institutions and individuals understand the inefficiencies plaguing the health system and the power of technology to solve those problems. We look forward to seeing their innovative solutions in action.”

Although agile development teams and startups have made significant headway in the consumer healthcare IT space, smaller businesses have yet to make substantial contributions to the commercial medical technology industry. However, according to Fast Company, several startups have made inroads into the wider healthcare IT sector with their software products and solutions.

Companies such as Big Evidence are working on improving evidence-based medical practice by providing physicians with more detailed information on specific conditions. The company has already received a grant from the National Stroke Association to further develop its platform.

Other solutions, such as OmadaHealth, aim to help doctors identify potentially problematic conditions such as diabetes through social networking to improve early diagnosis rates. The news source reports that since the potential savings for reducing the risk of a single case of diabetes is around $55,000, insurance providers are likely to be interested in crowdsourced preventative technologies.