human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

СOVID challenge hackathon

Bright ideas to combat COVID-19

Approximately 450 Ukrainian developers, designers, medical professionals, and scientists came together virtually from 23 April to 26 April for the COVID Challenge Hackathon to brainstorm effective ways to address the many challenges posed by COVID-19.

Over 80 teams were formed and more than 20 mentors and experts participated in the Hackathon. 16 projects qualified for the final.

Caritas Ukraine was an informational partner of the project, within the #CaritasOnCovid19 activities.

Many thanks to every participant, mentor, expert, partner. The Hackathon was the result of the numerous institutions’ cooperation. It inspires us to behold a larger number of talented people and the unique projects created by them.

Eugenia Bespalova, the COVID Challenge Hackathon organiser

In the end,  the ‘Friend’ project took home the first prize. ’Friend’ would aim  to support people in dealing with psychological problems. Functionally, it would be an automatic assistant in both monitoring a user’s mood and helping them learn about themselves. Based on a therapeutic framework known as cognitive-behavioral therapy, it is interested in the user’s well-being and daily life practices, sending videos or other useful tools, depending on both the mood and needs at in a given moment.

Among the projects presented at the Hackathon were: aerosol plants to reduce the infection risk by the health care workers; a solution helping ECG analysis to work with higher accuracy; a robot assistant designed to ensure less direct contact between medical staff and patients; an online government-folk monitoring platform for medical facilities to combat COVID-19; 3D printed shields’ for mass production and delivery to hospitals; an online education center focused on quarantine, and many others. There were over 40 projects in total.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Triangu, UNICEF, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, and other organisations supported the Hackathon, which was managed by We_Challenge, the innovation company.

Kristina Kvien, Charge d’Affaires a.i.  of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said,

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is proud to support Ukrainian developers, designers, medical professionals, and scientists participating in the COVID Challenge Hackathon as they come together to tackle the new challenges that we as a global community face because of COVID-19… We stand by our Ukrainian partners in these difficult times as we work together to address COVID-19 and other public health concerns for the safety and security of Ukrainians and Americans alike.

The COVID Challenge Hackathon winner will receive $5,000 to continue working on the implementation of their project. The finalists will have access to cloud services valued at $1,000.

Hackathon Judge Ilona Shtrom of the United States Foreign Commercial Service commented,

During this challenging time for all of us, it was inspiring to see the creativity and dedication of the participants in the COVID Challenge Hackathon.  I hope all the participants in this week’s event will continue using their problem-solving skills and bright ideas, in partnership with businesses, civil society, and officials, to help address the challenges posed by COVID-19.