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Apps4Kids Hackathon

Friday, 12 June 2015 at 5:00 PM - Friday, 19 June 2015 at 10:00 PM (PDT)

Apps4Kids Hackathon

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'Apps4Kids Hackathon' June 12-19, 2015 at ECE/UBC

Improving Care for Children


Registration for the hackathon will remain open until Thursday, June 11th. We would be delighted to have more students with experience in UI/UX and visual design join the event! Information regarding the Event Schedule and 10 Frequently Asked Questions can be found here:

We are looking forward to meeting all the atteendees and collaborating on projects! 

 'Apps4Kids Hackathon' June 12-19, 2015 at ECE/UBC

Improving Care for Children


The Problem. In children and youth, particularly in those with neurodevelopmental conditions, sleep problems often remain unrecognized as current clinical explanatory models are often daytime-focused and may not acknowledge sleep problems.

The Research. At our lab, we have developed a clinical practice strategy to improve complex medical care of children and youth with challenging daytime behaviours which are often a consequence of their sleep problems.

The Solution. We are collaborating with the UBC Department for Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and NeuroDevNet, a Centers of Excellence Network that is investigating the developing brain, to develop innovative applications (apps). Our aim is to bring knowledge about best care into the homes of our patients. We are a group of physicians, pharmacists, and therapists from BC Children’s Hospital collaborating with service-providing governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, the Canada FASD Research Network, and interested parent groups/parents of children with neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism spectrum disorder.

What is this event? Hackathons bring together coders, designers, developers and individuals with speciality expertise to intensively collaborate on building novel technology-based applications, such as mobile apps, to address a specific challenge. This Apps4Kids Hackathon event builds on this concept to foster the development of medical care and education apps in collaboration with interested parent groups and professionals. This is a novel approach for improving chronic care in paediatrics and, if successful, may become a transdisciplinary platform for exchange of knowledge and expertise in our university setting.

What kind of attendees are we looking for? Individual attendees, particularly parents, service providing NGOs, and health care professionals are most welcome - teams will be formed in the Pitches and Brainstorming event. We are looking for technical and clinical students, developers and designers:

  • with expertise in content development, app development (software, hardware and app design);
  • team and individual applications are welcome

How can you participate? Interested teams and individual attendees should register by June 5, 2015. There is no registration fee for the event. The Apps4Kids Hackathon will start with the Pitches and Brainstorming event at the Department of ECE (2332 Main Mall - Fred Kaiser Building at UBC, room 2020/2030) at 5:00pm on June 12th; app development will continue over the weekend (June 13th and 14th) at the Department of ECE; focus groups to review user-friendliness will be held June 15th to 18that the settings of the various community-based partners; reporting and refinements of the app projects will be held on the day of June 19th with the final celebration award ceremony and BBQ in the evening held at the Department of ECE. Further details, including rooms and what to bring to the event, will be sent out closer to the event date. Please feel free to direct any clinical questions to Mai Berger ( and any technical questions to Andrea Stucchi ( 

'Apps4Kids Hackathon' June 12-19, 2015 at ECE/UBC

Improving Care for Children

Further Information

How does this event work?

  • Pitches and Brainstorming: In the initial get-together event (June 12th), NGOs, parents, clinicians and research groups will make pitches of medical problems that can be solved with software, hardware, or web-based tools. Projects and prototypes that are already in progress can also be presented by students and/or professionals (e.g. a Capstone project) to attract other participants to join their team. Based on the pitches, students and individual attendees will choose to join an app-project which interests them, forming small teams of students, developers and clinicians with a diverse mix of skills. The teams can use the rest of the evening to start brainstorming ideas and planning their project. Location: Fred Kaiser Building at UBC, room 2020/2030; Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Development: Over the weekend (June 13th to June 14th), the teams will work together to develop their projects, working from scratch or adding to existing apps. The development atmosphere should be intense, innovative, and collaborative: teams create prototypes and design sketches, focusing on making features tailored to patients and clinicians. UBC professors, tech company representatives, and research network members will act as mentors to guide teams in app development. Location:Fred Kaiser Building at UBC, room 2020/2030; Time: 9:00am – late 
  • Focus groups: Starting on Monday (June 15th), teams will present their preliminary work to patient caregiver focus groups for input. Focus groups will be held from Monday to Thursday (June 15th to June 18th) to give feedback and advice on how to make the apps user-friendly and applicable. Location: various settings of the community-based partners; Time: to be determined

  • Refinement: Teams will continue development until Friday, working to refine their projects and incorporate focus group input. On Friday evening (June 19th), groups will present their final refined prototypes, followed by the awards ceremony and BBQ. Location: Fred Kaiser Building at UBC; Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm for app refinement, 5:00pm – 10:00pm awards ceremony and BBQ 

First Pitches: The following pitches are guided projects that are already underway and are looking for new team members to join and further develop the concept during the Apps4Kids Hackathon event.

  • Portable 4-limb-EMG App: A portable 4-limb-electromyography device for the assessment of restless legs syndrome. This project pitch is the continuation of the ECE Capstone Group 70 project and will be mentored by students from the Capstone team and Dr. Christian Grecu.
  • EMG App: This project addresses new electrical and computer engineering students and teaches them to rebuild/refine the previously developed EMG app for clinical validation studies. Based on the interests of the Paediatric Section of the International Restless Groups, twelve copies of this app will be ‘manufactured’ during the Apps4Kids Hackathon  for testing in international sleep labs. Mentored by students from the ECE Capstone Group 70 and Dr. Christian Grecu; this project is open to less experienced students who are eager to participate in this event and gain some knowledge in app development.
  • Medication App: A patient-facing data-collection smartphone/tablet app designed to gather comprehensive medication history of medication effects, side effects and adverse drug reactions. The concept is mentored by clinicians from Mental Health (Dr. Dean Elbe), Developmental Paediatrics (Dr. Osman Ipsiroglu), BC Children’s Pharmacy (Dr. Roxanne Carr) and Pharmacology (Dr. Bruce Carleton) as well as the Canada FASD Research Network (Dr. Amy Salmon).
  • Medical Care App for children and adults with Down syndrome: A web-based, modular app that will provide medical support and self-monitoring tools for parents and caregivers of children with Down syndrome and to allow physicians to monitor their patient’s health remotely. The concept has been spearheaded by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, supported by TELUS Community Board Grant. The project is mentored by Dr. Sylvia Stockler.
  • Down Syndrome Teaching Tool for students and health care providers: A web-based teaching tool for medical students, physicians and therapists: will include a full curriculum on practical skills and research methodology that integrates Down syndrome as a model of genetic intellectual disability with complex comorbidities. This project has been spearheaded by the Down Syndrome Research Foundation and by the Department of Paediatrics (Dr. Sylvia Stockler, Mr. John Jacob, Dr. Osman Ipsiroglu) and Department of Genetics (Dr. Linlea Armstrong), supported by the UBC Teaching Learning Enhancement Funds and the TELUS Community Board Grant.
  • Home Video-somnography System – Hardware: An infrared video recording system for overnight sleep recordings (“home-videosomnography”). Home-videosomnography is an alternate to expensive, invasive overnight polysomnographies (sleep studies) that allows for behavioural observation in the natural sleep setting, a vital tool for diagnosing missed sleep disorders. A rough prototype system has been developed by the Sleep/Wake Behaviour Clinic, and needs to be integrated into a single device with an intuitive interface for patient families.
  • Home Video-somnography System – Software: Home-Videosomnography requires customized software to facilitate video screening and analysis. A video viewer prototype has been developed that allows replaying at various speeds and annotation of motor events, and requires refinement to incorporate EMG or EEG signals and an improved interface. The goal is to automatically classify patient’s movements using optical flow algorithms. This project has been a collaboration with the Austrian Insitute of Technology (Heinrich Garn), the Medical University of Vienna (Gerhard Kloesch), the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil (Adriano Barbosa), and the Cognitive Systems Program at UBC (Dr. Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson).

We welcome new concepts based on the interests and specialties of parents/professionals and students! Propose a new app concept, or pitch a prototype that is in progress!

How is this event beneficial for students, clinicians and parents/caregivers? Students will be able to apply their technical skills to real-world, innovative app development, and work in a team-oriented environment. Interested students will gain valuable mentoring experience from healthcare professionals and potentially continue as summer students in app evaluation projects. In order to recognize the collaboration of student/professional teams with community-based partners, awards and scholarships will be offered.

What student awards/scholarships are available? In the get-together at the beginning of the event (June 12th), the awards and scholarships will be announced. The most innovative projects (including software, hardware, and design) that meet the needs of the community-based partners and support the optimization of chronic care management will be awarded (with certificates, cash prizes, and some summer scholarship opportunities). Awards are supported by DSRF/TELUS, NeuroDevNet, TIDE-BC, Canada FASD-Research Network, Children’s Sleep Network, and BC Paediatric Society.



Have questions about Apps4Kids Hackathon? Contact the organizer

When & Where

Fred Kaiser Building
2332 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Friday, 12 June 2015 at 5:00 PM - Friday, 19 June 2015 at 10:00 PM (PDT)

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