Health and Community Service
March 1, 2018

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services:

Companies and Residents Encouraged to Participate in St. John’s Hackathon

With the challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador’s health care system today, innovation holds the promise of opportunities to drive meaningful change.

Mr. Speaker, started about six years ago in Montreal, Hacking Health is an international movement designed to improve health care through diverse partnerships. Today, there are active chapters in more than 60 cities in 15 countries.

The St. John’s Hackathon, March 9 to March 11 at Memorial University, is a weekend-long event designed to break down barriers to health innovation. At a hackathon, health care professionals, IT developers and designers, technology innovators and entrepreneurs form teams, and each actually develops a solution to a known challenge in health care in this province.

One thing Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer to many health innovators and entrepreneurs is the potential to design and test provincial solutions, which can then be promoted to other jurisdictions. Today, there are about 10 local startups, at various stages, operating in the medical technology sector, offering a broad range of services, from point-of-care devices to apps focused on seniors. Some of these early stage ventures have come about from Hacking Health. Some of these start-ups were at our technology sector summit last week. This summit put forward a clear plan to encourage innovation and the growth of provincial tech companies.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage companies and people throughout the province to take part in the upcoming hackathon. For more information, they can visit hacking-health.org.

Good luck to all of the participants. Thank you for your desire and drive to change health care in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker

2018 03 01                              1:55 p.m.