Health app wins first Hartree hackathon
06 Feb 2017



Chinmaya Mishra, James Wright and Nick de Pennington met at the Hartree Hack and formed the team which developed the winning app.


​​​Credit: STFC​


​A neurosurgeon, engineer and statistician are the winners of the first Hartree Hack with an app designed to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions in the community.

The two and a half day hackathon event gave seven teams of developers, designers and “ideas people” the opportunity to gain knowledge and new skills in IBM Watson APIs and apply them to create a web or mobile-based app to address a challenge of their choice, before delivering a five minute pitch to a panel of judges.

Nick de Pennington from Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust, and James Wright and Chinmaya Mishra, who are both PhD students from the University of Liverpool, met at the event and devised C.H.A.T.S (the Chronic Health Automated Telephone System) to help address the increasing demand on health services due to higher levels of patients being diagnosed with chronic diseases and an ageing population. They hope that their app could potentially improve disease monitoring, prevent patients’ conditions deteriorating before additional medical intervention is needed, and empower patients to be better able to manage their own wellness.

Their app concept uses Watson API tools, including text to speech, speech to text and Alchemy, to understand and classify people’s emotional wellbeing to assist healthcare providers and empower patients in managing their conditions. The team will now benefit from £25,000 worth of support from the Hartree Centre to further develop their app and take it forward.

Nick de Pennington said: “It was a fantastic experience. We’re still trying to get to grips with the fact that we won. What we’ve got now is a great starting point to build from and we’re looking forward to working with the Hartree Centre to implement the feedback we got from the judges and develop the project further.”

This was the first Hartree Hack event, but future events centred on themes are being planned. If you would like to know more about how you can get involved, please contact Karen Lee, Head of Impact and Engagement.

These courses are suitable for PhD level (aspiring for, achieved or equivalent) researchers in academia or industry in any STEM subject who encounters complex application problems that require significant resources in one of the subject areas.

Read the full news item.

View all photos from the event.