Code Hack 2024: 24 hours to solve health-care challenges

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Attention innovators throughout the Island Health region: are you ready for an exciting challenge that could help shape the future of health care? Then check out Code Hack 2024, which takes place March 8-10 at Royal Jubilee Hospital. 

Code Hack brings together patients, Island Health staff, physician partners, industry experts, coders, builders, designers and students who put on their thinking caps and compete against the clock – and each other – to find innovative ways to solve health-care challenges.

Island Health is looking for 100 people to participate in a design sprint, also known as a hackathon, in order to generate fresh ideas and approaches. Applicants don’t have to work in health care and there is no cost to participate. Applications are now open at

Once participants have formed small working groups (around 5/6 people) and made their pitches, they have 24 hours to create and design innovative solutions. This may result in an app, a care pathway, signage, a website or a resource for a treatment room. Anything goes – the participants get to decide! 

During the hackathon, teams will have access to many resources to bring their pitch to life – including a 3-D printer, programmable Wi-Fi-enabled microchips and Island Health’s simulation lab, which includes mannequins powered by wireless technology to replicate real-life medical situations. If you aren’t tech savvy, don’t worry – Code Hack is designed for people of all abilities who share a common goal of improving health care. 

Code Hack 2023’s first-place project focused on the creation of a new bedside toilet to help patients better manage washroom functions, improve patient hygiene and address mobility issues. Other winning efforts included an app for patients to help them navigate wait times and information related to emergency room admissions, and a 3-D printed tool that tracks patient movements and encourages activity to reduce fatigue and body deterioration. 

This year, Island Health is once again looking for creativity, innovation and energy that will translate into real-world solutions. We need your ideas, inspiration and collaboration. Winning teams will get the opportunity to continue to work on their Code Hack prototype with Island Health’s Innovation Lab and other community partners. 

The deadline to register is February 12, 2024. For more information and to register, please visit the Code Hack page.

Innovation is a key priority for Island Health, and involves translating the input and ingenuity of our staff, physicians, partners and patients into new ideas and solutions that address health-care challenges and improve people’s lives. Examples of innovation in action include Code Hack, sensor trials at Island Health washrooms that monitor for toxic drug poisonings, enhanced accessibility features for the future Cowichan District Hospital and the Cognitive Health Initiative, a visionary project focused on research and care for patients living with cognitive health issues.