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Dr. Oz, NY Presbyterian Announce City's First Hospital 'Hackathon'

By Nigel Chiwaya | March 10, 2014 3:28pm
Dr. Oz Announces Hospital Hackathon
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New York Presbyterian Hospital

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Signing up for health insurance or scheduling a doctor's appointment? Uptown techies may soon have an app for that.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital will try to spur health care innovation this weekend by hosting what it's billing as the city's first "hospital hackathon," officials announced via a video starring celebrity doctor Memhet Oz.

At the 33-hour event, participants working individually or in teams will be tasked with designing software and apps that give patients better access to health care. The apps will link into the hospital's myNYP online health portal, which already lets patients view their medical records online.

"We would like to see how newly prototyped technologies can better connect the consumer as a patient with our health care system during times of illness and wellness," said Helen Kotchoubey, a hospital director in IT and patient engagement.

The hospital is offering $85,000 in prize money to three winners of the 33-hour event, which will begin Saturday morning at the hospital's Riverview Terrace at 177 Fort Washington Ave. 

The hospital isn't giving participants instructions on what kinds of apps to create. Rather, they want them to throw code on the walls, so to speak, and see what sticks.

"The direction we are giving the teams is that we are at an exciting point in time and that New York-Presbyterian Hospital is open to new prototypes on how to offer features on our portal," Kotchoubey said.

More than 120 participants have signed up for the hackathon, and more are on a waiting list. The first-place winner will receive $50,000, with $25,000 and $10,000 going to the second- and third-place winners, respectively.

The winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Sunday.