In a hackathon organized to hack the crisis – an avalanche of ideas and solutions
With the end of the first week of the general quarantine in the country, tech enthusiasts have devoted three days of the weekend to a unifying event, generating not only ideas but also solutions to real-world problems, codenamed Hack the Crisis. The event, which was organized in record time, attracted more than 100 mentors and 977 participants, who were divided into 50 teams and presented 48 solutions, the best of which were awarded numerous prizes from sponsors during the virtual award ceremony that took place on Monday, March 23.
One of the most important tasks for hackathon organizers was to identify the most pressing issues and their list was expanding day by day: from formal and non-formal education challenges to business relief, help for the people in quarantine and the medical system. Therefore, the solutions presented by teams after the intensive two-day work were very diverse, covering a wide range of public and private life.
How to track the spread of the virus and print medical equipment
The creators of SherLOCK @home offered to solve the task stated by the National Public Health Center – to help manage the workload of their specialists, monitoring the condition of all quarantined individuals. SherLOCK @home is a unified platform that helps to coordinate communication between medical personnel, National Public Health Center and quarantined individuals, belonging to the high-risk group.
Tracking Virus Not People program offered the professionals as well as citizens to track the virus in real-time. The program shows places visited by people who were diagnosed with the virus, and thus helps other citizens to assess their risks of getting infected.
One of the crisis management tools, NRD Cyber Security, helps you keep track of all the virus-related world news from various countries by providing analytical insights. In this way, state crisis managers can identify potential threats by recognizing and capturing the spread of fake news and learning about new disease outbreaks and the way it spreads instantly.
Hackathon participants offered original solutions for medical and disinfection equipment: for example, non-invasive lung ventilation with EBRAVI, Under Pressure lung ventilation systems made using 3D printers or use of ultraviolet lamps for rapid disinfection with Light The Path, allowing up to eight times faster disinfection of high infection risk surfaces and premises (ambulances, buses, elevators, etc.).
The provision of a variety of remote medical and psychological care has received considerable attention. For example, AOC – a three-tiered psychological support platform that provides a wealth of information ranging from breathing exercises, community-based emergency assistance, to video meetings with certified professionals. Or DoctorOnline, helping the doctors to remotely effectively consult patients. The app helps avoid unnecessary physical contact and obtain doctor’s advice online.
Psychological assistance program I am with You is a universal platform where anyone under stress or psycho-emotional tension can get specialist advice without leaving home and remaining completely anonymous.
Aid for education and small business
Artificial Intelligence-based solutions, such as viLTė, were also used during the hackathon. ViLTė is a public resource where the Artificial Intelligence program answers the most frequently asked questions during this period – from the information about the virus to travel restrictions, relief for business and so on.
Creators of business solutions were no less creative. Pard.app is a space that helps small businesses sell their goods online by joining an e-shop platform that allows both businesses and private individuals to sell or buy products without leaving the house. Skaitmenizuokis.lt is a website where volunteer mentors help anyone who wants to learn digital skills or retrain and get a job in tech. Localun.org, a platform that helps restaurants keep at least a minimal income covering the fixed expenses. Local communities can purchase gift vouchers or donate, thus helping their favorite restaurants and cafes to stay afloat.
The Ministry of Education and Science helped to formulate the tasks for educational projects. One of the solutions created is Mokyklanamie, which is designed to help thousands of children who do not have the means – a computer – to study remotely, by encouraging businesses to donate unused computers to students.
Aid and volunteering solutions offer ways to effectively provide food and supplies to the elderly, more vulnerable groups of people, for example, FavourFavour – a platform that allows people offering help to others to sign up: from grocery shopping to walking the dog.
A generous prize pool
The fact that a virtual hackathon of this scale was organized in just a few days did not stop dozens of supporters from joining the event – from large and small companies to individuals, professionals, enthusiasts, and artists.
The 5,000 EUR prize pool, distributed to five hackathon teams, was set up by businessman and one of the initiators of the idea, Vladas Lašas.
parduotuv.es was awarded the 3,000 EUR prize and the mentoring program ROCKIT by Swedbank.
The 3000 EUR prize for Under Pressure project was given by BaltCap.
Sorainen allocated the 2000 EUR prize to two projects.
The developers of the projects selected for the acceleration programs were invited by Kaunas IN program, Kauno startuoliai, Startup Wise Guys Accelerator, Change MakersON. The teams received a bunch of other prizes from the sponsors to further develop their solutions and support the technology initiatives that society now so badly needs.