What happens in Bikini doesn’t stay in Bikini: A recap of the Call for Code hackathon in Berlin

On June 15-16, 2019, we hosted a hackathon in Bikini Berlin. Our core focus was to help participants of the Call for Code 2019 Global Challenge with their submissions. This year’s challenge is to improve natural disaster preparedness, response, and recovery with an emphasis on healthcare. For this local hackathon, we had special experts on hand and prizes for the winners. In this post, I’ll share details on how the hackathon went, the winning team, and how you can join this year’s Call for Code challenge.

Hackathons are time-limited competitions, typically challenging teams to create a new application. At a hackathon, participating create innovative solutions to an existing problem. For these competitions, technologies and data sets from participating partners are made available to aid the participants in their quest. In order to determine the winner of a hackathon, teams present and demonstrate their solutions at the end of the hack to a panel of judges. Last weekend, we hosted a two-day hackathon in Bikini Berlin.

Wait, did you say Bikini?

Yes, that’s right! Our hackathon took place in the Bikini Berlin, the world’s first concept mall. Like its namesake, this multi-story mall is divided in two pieces, with a bare section between them where the architecture is supported by columns. Located in City West in Berlin, the heritage-listed Bikini Berlin complex runs along the southside of the Berlin Zoo. Synonymous with unique, new ideas and transformation, it was the perfect location for our hackathon. We are currently in the middle of our Think at IBM six-week popup experience at Bikini Berlin. It’s running until the end of June, so you still have some time to check it out! Don’t miss our IBM rooftop terrace, the perfect spot to explore our technology and enjoy the summer days.

We invited the tech community to answer the Call for Code at our hackathon in Berlin. We wanted to encourage developers, designers, and specialists to be creative and innovative in crafting solutions to improve preparedness for natural disasters. Joining us were a variety of individuals, with different talents and experiences. We wanted all of our participants to have fun. Each of the participants recieved hands-on experience and coaching from our Developer Advocates. The challenge presented at this hackathon was to design and prototype a solution in less than 48 hours.

Saturday, June 15

dan krook presenting at berlin hack

On Saturday, we began the hackathon with some opening talks and workshops. Among others, we were thrilled to have an introduction to Call for Code from Daniel Krook, CTO IBM Code and Response, live and in-person! Next, we presented the goals of our local hackathon, ideation, and then the participants formed teams. It is important to note that for the Call for Code 2019 Global Challenge, teams of up to five participants are allowed.

My colleague, Siddhartha Arora, hosted an IBM Design Thinking workshop, galvanising our participants into action, stressing the importance of creating a solution, rather than components. After a working lunch, it was time for further ideation on designing and coding the new apps and solutions. Our Developer Advocates were on hand for coaching and support. Unlike some hackathons where coding goes long into the night, we ended the first day promptly at 9pm, giving participants the chance to recharge their batteries for the following day.

Sunday, June 16

On Sunday, there were a couple more hours to work on the projects and prepare before the final presentation. Pressure was building as time started running out.

Then it was time for the judging and award ceremony! All Call for Code submissions are judged on the following four aspects:

  1. Completeness and transferability
  2. Effectiveness and efficiency
  3. Design and usability
  4. Creativity and innovation

The winning team: Connecting the Dots

The winners of our hackathon, team Connecting the Dots, created a solution that uses existing technologies to trigger earlier alerts and warnings, as preemptive measures to protect people from the effects of natural disasters. Using our Internet of Things Platform, as well as Machine Learning, Neural Networks, calculating algorithms, and predicting models in IBM Watson Studio, their solution detects and predicts changes in order to improve early warning systems. Let’s find out more about the winning team.

bikini hackathon winning team

Team member Aswin Pyakurel said, “The greatest motivation for me was to learn and test the IBM Cloud and Watson platform. Indeed, during the hackathon, we were able to use the Watson IoT platform to get real time data from a sensor, feed this data into the Watson Machine Learning platform. I was also able to build a neural network which was deployed on the Watson ML platform and get real-time prediction. I enjoyed learning from lots of IBM coaches and my teammates. We hope to submit this project for the bigger Call for Code challenge.”

Martin Karmasz heard about Call for Code via LinkedIn. When I asked Martin what he enjoyed most about the weekend hackathon in Berlin, he replied: “The IBM Developer Advocate team was very friendly and helpful. They answered our questions by explaining even the smallest detail with great patience. From the beginning, all attendees had different stages of knowledge about machine learning and IBM AI tools. In the end, all were more even. This Call of Code Hackathon was my personal machine learning bootcamp experience.”

Gesa Schneider heard about our hackathon through a developer friend. I asked Gesa what inspired her: “Creating something of impact, meeting like-minded people, having the support and the knowledge sharing of one of the most innovative companies in the world.” Here’s what she learned at our Call for Code hackathon: “A lot about IBM technology, in particular about AI Watson and neural networks. Besides that, it was also interesting to know more about natural disasters, the current challenges of predicting them and to figure out how technology can help here. I also learned that in the context of time constraints, with the help of team spirit and a lot of energy, great things can be achieved as well as that it is worth being persistent.” And what she enjoyed most about the hackathon was “the amazing support by IBM mentors, coming from all over Germany and even from the US to support us during the full weekend.”

Each participant in our Berlin hackathon winning team won a DJI Tello drone. So, what’s next for Gesa and team Connecting the Dots? “Bringing the idea to the next level, doing a pilot program with real time data projection. Maybe we can even implement the drones we won into our solution. And finally, submitting the project to the Call for Code 2019 Global Challenge.”


Can’t make it to any of our local Call for Code events? Join our online, global virtual hack on June 20-21. Want to get started straight away? Join our dedicated Slack channel and search #virtual to find your team members!

We want to equip you and help you with your Call for Code submissions as best we can. Get up to speed on incorporating different technologies into your solutions with these five fantastic blogs written by Derek Teay:

We also have four solution starter kits to help you get started with your own submission.

Push for change. Join the Call for Code 2019 Global Challenge now.

In the meantime, check out our Developer Advocacy team in Germany, and be sure to join our IBM Developer Meetup in Berlin.

Hot topics at JAX 2019: serverless, microservices, and cloud-native applications

Last year the JAX conference in Mainz was an awesome experience. Last week our team returned for JAX 2019, and it was even better. This conference focuses primarily on enterprise technologies, agile methodologies, and software architectures. The high standard was clear from the quality of talks we attended, which contained a lot of practical information. Hot topics at this year’s conference were definitely serverless, microservices, and cloud-native applications. There were also great talks on cloud technologies such as Kubernetes and Apache Cassandra, and other presentations covered JVM technology and Java language features.

At the annual JAX conference, there are typically 2,000 attendees. Not only were there familiar faces from the increasingly familiar developer community here in Germany, but also some from the 2018 JAX conference. It’s fascinating to learn that even the shorter booth interactions make a mark and can leave lasting impressions. Several attendees were wearing our CODE t-shirts. Some even donned this year’s Eye Bee M rebus t-shirts straight away!

The IBM team at JAX 2019

By the way, did you know that graphic designer Paul Rand created the IBM rebus logo back in 1981?

Blue Cloud Mirror

The demo at our IBM booth was highly popular. Blue Cloud Mirror is an interactive web app that our team of Developer Advocates created from scratch. The game has two levels: players are challenged to show five specific emotions and then five specific poses in the shortest amount of time possible. Ultimately the game is a fun way of demonstrating 15 different cloud technologies. For example, Blue Cloud Mirror works with Cloud Foundry, a serverless architecture, and an on-premises environment.

You can see our sample code and fork it to experiment. Start with the Mirror game app showcases 15 cloud technologies and components code pattern. You can even play the live demo in your browser now. Be sure to let us know what you think! Play Blue Cloud Mirror.

Blue Cloud Mirror game

Sessions on cloud native, containers, and Java

Developer Advocates Harald Uebele and Niklas Heidloff shared their Cloud Native Starter in a session titled How do I develop my first cloud-native applications?. Check out the slides for details.

What are cloud native applications? session at JAX 2019

They demonstrated how easy it is to use key functions of Kubernetes and Istio for microservices, independent of the programming language. Using these technologies together with Java Enterprise Edition and Eclipse MicroProfile, the duo shared how to roll out and manage these applications, using the most of the capabilities that the platforms offer. Tips followed on resiliency, traffic management, authentication and authorization, and observability. I heartily recommend checking out their cloud-native-starter Open Source project on GitHub.

Once again, JAX brought our team together with colleagues from other parts of IBM and the world. We were honored to welcome Distinguished Engineer and CTO of Container and Linux OS Architecture Strategy, Phil Estes. From across the pond, Phil came to JAX to give a keynote talk titled Containers. Cloud. Microservices. Open Source… for enterprises. Real Life or Fantasy? These four buzzwords are on everybody’s lips. Even if you weren’t at the conference, you can view the presentation slides.

Throughout the keynote, he discussed updates and the effect they can have on speed, security, and efficiency. Companies are constantly striving to improve all three, of course. For each aspect, Phil shared the latest developments, providing real-life examples from IBM Cloud customers. He showed how companies are using these technologies to achieve measurable improvements with faster, more secure, and more efficient development. Phil also shared IBM’s own transformation to a cloud-native, container-first approach to our own service delivery. Interested in learning more? See Open Source at IBM.

The unified container application platform session at JAX 2019

We’re thrilled that Theresa Mamarella flew in from Canada and joined us at JAX. In her Migrate Early, Migrate Often session, she discussed the demanding new release cycles for OpenJDK, sharing concrete continuous migration strategies and tools necessary for Java developers to adapt. Theresa reassured us that there’s no reason to be afraid about upgrading and deprecation. Rather, she advised us to “eat the elephant a bite at a time,” she said. Many vendors provide support for OpenJDK builds, and this talk was both very welcome and popular. Check out Theresa’s slides here on GitHub: Migrate Early, Migrate Often.

Familiar faces also joined us in Mainz. Steve Poole had two sessions. First, he told a modern fairy tale about Java serialization. Steve spun a tantalizing tale of the dark art, describing its dark and twisted developments. Does our Java serialization fairy tale have a happy ending? Can you secure your application from Java serialization weaknesses? That’s for you and me to decide.

In Steve’s second talk, he examined the Java ecosystem and its open future in the cloud. Java developers face many changes with new technologies and ideas, and he dove into the facts and figures characterizing the landscape and future directions. Steve ended with another provoking ultimatum: will the Java community continue to rise to the challenge of keeping Java vital, healthy, and moving forward?

We were also joined by the IBM Client Innovation Center, a team that is focused on hiring developer talents. To create your own career path, you can check out open positions.

IBMers at JAX 2019

The “Kube” your Enthusiasm session

Our colleagues Simon Moser and Julian Skupnjak presented Project Eirini, a Kubernetes back end for Cloud Foundry. Not familiar with Eirini? This incubation project allows complete containerization and a Kubernetes-native version of Cloud Foundry. It offers an alternative orchestrator to Diego and simplifies the platform and making it easier to manage. This session included live Eirini demos on Kubernetes, following the code on its journey from your laptop to first-class deployments, pods, and services in your Kubernetes Cluster.

So, what else did we do? Our team gave out promo codes for IBM Cloud. We believe it’s important for developers to be able to try out and test as much of our cloud platform as they can. Some JAX attendees were not aware that IBM has a free account available, which does not even require a credit card.

Participants at JAX 2019

The JAX organizers curated a varied program, filling the week with exciting activities. On Monday evening, there was a social event at a nearby vineyard, which offered speakers a casual environment to connect with attendees, and the friendly atmosphere sparked great conversations. On Wednesday, the annual JAX jogging event took place, and a large group sporting neon JAX T-shirts jogged together along the Rhein river. Beer and snacks were provided for refreshment afterward – it was a great bonding opportunity!

At the conference, it was a delight to share projects that our team has been working on. On a personal note, I celebrated a year on the Developer Advocacy team in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Annual events like the JAX conference provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past year, changes, and progress.

Upcoming events

Looking into the future, we have many upcoming events as part of the Think at IBM platform in one of Europe’s most pulsing cultural centers. Let’s expect more from technology.

Our wider IBM team is available in the Bikini Berlin Concept Shopping Mall from May 20 to June 30. During that time, our developer team also is at the JSConf EU, We Are Developers, and DevOpsCon conferences. And Winter JAX returns from November 4-8, 2019, in Munich.

Until we see you at an upcoming event, here are the highlights from our Twitter feed for JAX 2019:

Hacknext 2019: Hacking the future of insurance

Team IBM was at Hacknext InsurTech hackathon and conference from Thursday March 7th to Saturday March 9th, in Munich. Across three days, 110 hackers came together to take on a variety of real-life challenges facing the industry. As technology sponsor, we had a team of experts ready to assist the hackers with their projects.

Most of the challenges revolved around modernizing or making the insurance industry more accessible. A fantastic location for ideation and collaboration. Each team was required to address a minimum of one of the following challenges.

The 4 challenges:

  1. Future of Digital Bancassurance
  2. Rethinking Retirement
  3. (R)evolution of the Insurance Agent
  4. Smart Data & its Benefits for Insurance

These four challenges reflected issues facing the insurance industry today and strove to answer common question like:

  • Which concepts will help people to plan for the future?
  • How can we present these issues more accessibly?
  • How will the insurance industry of the future contact their customers?
  • How can insurance companies use the data they have to make their customers’ lives easier?
  • Which new technologies and techniques can optimise insurance portfolios?


Getting started

IBM sponsored the event alongside DataArt, Kaiser X Labs, Franke & Bornberg, and zeb, a mix of local companies and start-ups. Together we embarked on the challenge of revamping and redesigning the insurance industry.

A fantastic team organized and ran the entire Hacknext event. From the start of the hackathon, we were given detailed instructions about what to expect with regards to the location, the competition, and more. Hackers could choose from 10 APIs to use, with lots of opportunities for creating innovative solutions. Many sponsors had their unique spin on the challenges, for which they offered corresponding prizes. As such, the challenges all reflected problems which the German and international insurance industry faces.

On Thursday, Hackers had 30-second mini-pitches to build their teams as quickly as possible. In the pitches, they presented their vision and ideas for the hackathon, which challenge they would tackle, and what skills and experience they needed from teammates. Teams were mainly looking for developers, business-minded individuals, or designers. Fast-paced matchmaking ensued! At the end of the day, the participants had formed 20 teams.

The first evening ended with a special presentation on artificial intelligence (AI) in space, with lead Watson architect Matthias Biniok sharing the story of this joint project with Airbus, German Aerospace Center DLR, and IBM to create the first AI-powered astronaut assistant in space. CIMON, an AI-powered assistant, joined astronaut Alexander Gerst on the International Space Center for the Horizons misson, as the first robot to fly autonomously and weightlessly. Discover more about the CIMON project, which just won the German Innovation Award.

“It is exciting to see how artificial intelligence can also change or improve the world of insurance. Great event with great results.” Daniel Frick

Let the coding begin!

Bright and early on Friday morning, the teams embarked on their challenge. They had 28 hours of coding to create their winning solution. 28 hours is not a lot of time to create a prototype from scratch. Seven coaching sessions were held to support the teams in their quests, covering all areas critical for success: technology, design, business, and pitching. IBM held two sessions. Thomas Suedbroecker shared all that is possible with our cloud platform, including hot tips on how to create and deploy an application as quickly as possible.

The 10 APIs available were a great resources for the hackers to use. In addition to the IBM Cloud, the APIs that were on offer included:

Each API had a corresponding team of coaches to assist with implementation throughout the hackathon. Our team of API coaches were kept very busy, answering lots of questions and assisting hackers with their projects.

“Great event, hacker teams appreciated prototyping with Node-RED and simple to use but mighty Watson Assistant chatbot capabilities. We enjoyed the spirit and openess in trying out our “lego bricks” to implement the various ideas quickly 🙂 Overall fantastic event, thanks also to the organizing teams and companies!!” – Harald Murgas

Time to shine!

On Saturday, The Hacknext hackathon culminated with final pitches from each team. The projects were judged on:

  • How innovative the solution was
  • Code quality
  • CX/UX design
  • Pitch quality

Prizes included up to €10,000 in cash as well as special prizes from the sponsors. On the judging panel were leaders in the insurance industry, including Michael Baierlein, Director of Cloud and Cognitive Sales at IBM and Christoph Carl, Project Lead Bancassurance at Allianz.

“A great event with highly creative and engaged hackers!” – Michael Baierlein

“Excellent environment for excellent hackers – I was impressed by the diverse teams and their creative approaches towards our digital bancassurance challenges. Congrats to all participants and the organizers!” – Christoph Carl

Winning hackathon teams

The winning teams were PALI, i-Gent, and Plan?Los. Let’s look at their innovative solutions:


This team delivered a great pitch! Their solution consolidated risk management and eCommerce financial status on one platform. This is both a modern and scalable business model.


Team i-Gent vividly demonstrated how ad-hoc insurance businesses can be easier to handle in an end-to-end solution. Congratulations to the team!


Another fantastic pitch and solution that consolidated risk management as well as financial status for eCommerce on one platform. Well done for creating a modern and scalable business model.

“It is always so inspiring to see what we can do with AI and how creative all the Hackers were. I am really looking foward to see where the winners bring their new inventions” – Kim Dressendörfer

The challenges facing the insurance industry are great. Hacknext brought together a wide group of people who focused on how to improve the insurance industry. We were particularly happy to see all three winners running on IBM Cloud! Well done to all the participants. Congratulations on all your hard work and achievements.

“Innovative ideas, great spirit, quick implementations – super teaming between all participants! Thanks to organizers and congratulations to winners!” – Harald Murgas

“It was great to see: young people build relevant solutions for the future with the latest technologies on cloud. I wish all hackers the best and success for their future.” Thomas Südbröcker

A recap of IBM Developer UnConference Europe

On January 24 2019, we welcomed almost 100 developers in Zurich for a day filled with labs, breakout sessions, and walk-in demos. The content of our IBM Developer UnConference reflected the major discussions facing our community: managing multi-cloud environments – both public and private, Kubernetes, IoT, and analytics.

What’s an IBM UnConference?

An UnConference aims to be the antithesis of a conference, typically avoiding ticket prices and sponsored sessions, and focusing on the informal transfer of knowledge and information within the community.

The day began with a warm welcome from Youri Boehler, who introduced our guests and newcomers to the Developer UnConference, our exchange and learning platform for developers, non-developers, data scientists, managers, and all those interested in topics such as analytics, AI, big data, Blockchain, cloud computing, data science, DevOps, hacking, machine learning, open source, quantum computing, research and other emerging technologies. In addition, we had plenty of IBM Labs, and were happy to host partners such as Hortonworks, Hilscher and Red Hat.

Conference image

UnConference labs

From Slack bots with Watson Assistant to private cloud on Kubernetes, there was something for everyone. Not surprisingly, the best visited Labs were around IoT and edge analytics. Why? Firstly, edge analytics is a really hot topic within IoT. And secondly, our speaker Romeo Kienzler, has such a unique and engaging way of giving labs and talks that we definitely needed more chairs! Since there were so many interesting topics to discuss, and so much information to share, Romeo extended his lab and started explaining the basics of encryption. And speaking of encryption, we also have to mention the talk from our IBM Research colleague, Vadim Lyubashevsky, who addressed the question how to apply encryption in the era of quantum computer. How do we achieve quantum-safe cryptography, allowing for secure communication? Vadim emphasized that you do not need quantum to defend against quantum. The key takeaway: Don’t worry, be happy!

Lab image

We offered additional sessions on a wide range of topics, including the lifecycle of data science, digital business automation for multi-cloud, and agile integration architecture for containerisation. Talks explored PaaS from a business perspective, since apps are prolific and application releases are becoming increasingly frequent. We discussed how to adapt to this pace and embrace acceleration. Tips included an open culture, automating as much as you can, and getting the right platform. The lab from Hortonworks presented end-to-end production pipelines on Kafka, with a scalable, microservices architecture.

lab image 2

Over the course of the UnConference, we built up a holistic view of multi-cloud environments. Our guest lab from Red Hat explored DevOps with OpenShift, focusing on building services with Spring Boot and Java EE services. We also had a panel discussion on multi-cloud management, vital for business agility and reducing technology redundancy. IBMers Georg Ember and Thomas Müller shared more insight into multi-cloud management. At the end of the day, we turned our attention to a topic which concerns us all: our environment. IBMer Geraldine Lüdi was joined by two climate experts Kai Landwehr, from myclimate and Lia Flury, from CLIMEWORKS to speak about impacts of CO2, the kind of projects their organizations are investing in, and what a difference we can make as individuals.

lab image 3

Have you ever been to a Developer UnConference?

If you missed this UnConference, don’t worry. We are thrilled to host our next IBM Developer UnConference in Switzerland on June 20, 2019. Please mark your calendar, and we hope to see you there!

Healthcare Hackathon 2018

Last month, from September 13 -15, we were joined by more than 5,000 health technology enthusiasts in a multi-purpose arena in northern Germany. In cooperation with the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), Merck, and Kieler Nachrichten, we (IBM Germany) hosted our third annual Healthcare Hackathon, which is Europe’s largest event for digital healthcare. Across 3 days, we familiarized ourselves with the current challenges the industry faces, their latest research, and the potential technology has to improve healthcare. There was something for everyone: high school students and families, emergency medical technicians, business leaders, and doctors. It was a perfect opportunity for a wide range of individuals to get involved. Thursday focused on the different groups (high schools, professionals, healthcare providers, startups, and students); Friday revolved around the hackathon; and on Saturday, we opened our doors to the public!


As humans, health is our most important asset, at the Healthcare Hackathon it was brought to the foreground again with the help of technology and new ideas. – Thomas Südbröcker

Digital Day – The first day

On the first day of our hackathon, 150 high school students visited us for a variety of interactive workshops. The topics included: smart apps in healthcare, smart home technology, smarter technology with ergonomic operations, and smart communication in medicine. The students also had hands-on training to build their very own robots: a TJBot, which they assembled, connected to the IBM Cloud™, and trained with IBM Watson® themselves. The learning and discovery didn’t end there, though – our visitors could also test out and control a robot who carries out operations!

For our non-student visitors, we had an exclusive BarCamp for healthcare startups. Not only was this event open to startups at every stage: from first business ideas to those ready to enter the market. We also provided the perfect conditions to network and mingle at the beach bar. Workshops with sponsors were on practical topics that ranged from how to finance a business idea, lessons learned, and creating a digital strategy. Startups had the opportunity to pitch their ideas and explain what they were looking for. In exchange, the sponsors also introduced themselves, which led to several rounds of speed-networking.


Conferences for medical professionals

Two conferences ran in parallel to the hackathon. The first was a congress for emergency medicine, organized by UKSH Institute for Rescue and Emergency Medicine. The second was titled “Yesterday there was Magic; Today, there’s Medicine”, which explored the impact of digitalization on healthcare, paying particular attention to young talents and their perspectives. Both were a source of inspiration and knowledge exchange in and between industries and their experts. Some of the hackathon participants also took part.

The hackathon

After a meet and greet session and barbecue on Thursday evening, the hackathon began. On Friday morning, Thorsten Gau – IBM Distinguished Engineer and CTO Global Business Services Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – introduced the 30+ challenges. With help from 25+ IBMers from GBS and Cloud Developer Advocates, the participants used the cloud-based developer platform IBM Cloud, Watson Cognitive Services as well as our Design Thinking methods. You could not miss their speed, enthusiasm, and dedication; some teams were even hacking through the night!


There were 150 young talents who programmed solutions for the 21st century throughout the 3 days. The teams were guided by the 25 IBM coaches who helped them prepare their pitch for 21 judges. Some coaches, for example, came from Tübingen University, who gave training on how to pitch. Since the final presentations were strictly limited to 3 minutes per team, and an additional 2 minutes for questions and answers, this preparation was key to success.

This was, of course, the perfect opportunity to share the news of our global hackathon, the Call for Code, a competition which challenges developers to build solutions and use technology for good. This year the topic is to improve natural disaster preparedness and relief. Stay tuned – the external winners will be announced at the Call for Code Global Prize Celebration on Oct. 29 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Tune in for the judging and be sure to get involved next year!


Kiel’s Digital Week

Our event on Saturday was open to the public and formed part of Kiel’s Digital Week. It was a fantastic opportunity to include everyone in conversations about the latest technology in health and life sciences and allowed everyone to explore the latest technology in health and life sciences, which was part of the event’s purpose. UKSH Chairman Professor Dr. Jens Scholz and IBM welcomed many guests, among them were many doctors, families, and children who visited from 10am. Meanwhile the hackathon teams were busy programming until midday, from creating a blood donation app to programming a robot.

IBM Challenge

We also had an IBM challenge within the hackathon, which consisted of extending the IBM Personal Health Records ecosystem and UKSH HealthHub App), powered by IBM’s electronic health records (IBM elektronische Gesundheitsakte) and Preventicus Heartbeats. Using just a smartphone, patients can use clinically-proven technology to record their pulse and detect atrial fibrillation. Check out the HealthHub App on YouTube.


Winning teams

At 5pm on the final day of the hackathon, the jury announced the winners in Frankfurt. Let’s take a look at the winning teams, each of which runs on the IBM Cloud:

  • 6th place: Emergency Room e.cademy (Special Prize Winner) Until now, there was no learning program for students learning to be anesthetists. In large classes there can be a lack of practical experience opportunities. This solution offers students a virtual operation, which explains the preparation and processes needed. Using media, this shows students the ropes and can be adapted to other qualifications and formal training.
  • 5th place: Combining fitness and genetic data Chronic illnesses often reduce movement, this team developed a fitness tracker to measure both illness and therapy. Fot the patient, they can take on more responsibility and understanding about the disease. It also provides a better connection with their physician. Doctors also benefit from a more extensive dataset and richer case history, saving time for more important discussions.
  • 4th place: Loomo This team was from Lübeck University, they programmed a solution for an ultramobile Segway for use in hospitals. The use-cases include: guiding patients, transporting goods, damage surveying, documentation, and much more. Loomo is an interactive robot and source of information, with particular potential for visually impaired patients who can easily use the speech interface.
  • 3rd place: Blood donation 2.0 (Prize: 10,000€) Only 3 percent from a potential 33 percent of eligible donors give blood in Germany. At some point, 80 percent of the total population could potentially need a blood donation once in their lives. This app motivates regular donation particularly from the 18-35 age demographic, with the goal to create reliable donors. The app achieves this through many means, for example: creating more of a community, embracing the digital world and mobile experience, and sharing real stories of the recipients of blood donations.
  • 2nd prize: Wound analytics (Prize: 10,000€) This idea implemented Augmented Reality to measure and monitor wounds objectively and consistently. Each wound is considered a polygon, with multiple edges, where the size is calculated by splitting the polygon into pyramids. The AR aspect provides plane detection and x, y, and z coordinates.
  • 1st place: Hospimotion = post-OP training using a VR game (Prize: 15,000€) The winning team developed an app offering patients a training program in which they take more responsibility of their own recovery. During the hackathon, use-cases were developed for feet and leg training, where these were designed specifically for patients recovering from knee, hip, and foot operations. Using Virtual Reality and gamification, it is easy to use with wireless setup and body markers, detecting speed and location. The app is fun and motivational, patients are well-informed throughout their time in hospital, and well taken care of. Tested by doctors and physiotherapists, the app takes existing medical illnesses into account, also the patient’s fitness level, heartbeat, and even prevents overtraining.


The Healthcare Hackathon once again brought a wide variety of individuals, organizations, and industries together to explore and experiment uncharted territories in healthcare. We are already looking forward to next year’s Healthcare Hackathon!