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Highly skilled developers are being urged to endure a sleepless night in “jail” to come up with the best ideas to tackle the challenges facing the health service.

Participants will attend the 24 hour hackathon taking place at Crumlin Road Gaol on Saturday September 13 with a paranormal tour taking place half way through!

It’s being run as part of Belfast tech firm TotalMobile’s Code for Better campaign, which launched at the start of the summer to bring people with great ideas and those with a passion for coding together to collaborate on solutions to some of the problems facing the health sector.

A Vine competition has been running to source ideas to bring to the hack with a prize of a £1,500 travel voucher for the winning idea. Anyone wishing to contribute should create a six second Vine video outlining their idea to tackle a specific healthcare challenge and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #codeforbetter but developers are welcome to attend the event without doing so.

The top ideas will be built by teams at the event. Teams of five will work together on developing prototypes for the 24 hour period and will present to the Code For Better panel of judges on the morning of Sunday 14 September.

Gareth Tolerton, Chief Technology Officer, TotalMobile, who will be a judge at the event, said:

“Our company has been making software for 30 years and we’re passionate about finding mobile solutions that work and make healthcare better as well as working to close the skills gap which exists in the IT industry in Northern Ireland.

“We want to encourage young developers to enhance their skills and broaden their experience as well as highlighting the opportunities available to them at TotalMobile.

“We want to hear from smart developers with the right attitude about what they would build to help revolutionise the use of software in healthcare and look forward to meeting them at Crumlin Road Gaol on September 13.

“The developers only need to bring their own device – we will provide the rest, including food, drink and of course some unusual entertainment half way through in the form of a paranormal tour! Hopefully that won’t put anyone off and by the end of the challenge we’ll have some great solutions which will have the potential to make a real difference”

Judges will also include 3fivetwo Healthcare’s CEO Mark Regan, and representatives from Marie Curie and the Health and Social Care Board. Graphic designers are also welcome to attend and share their skills. A cash prize of £1,000 will be awarded to the winning team of developers.

Partners for the event include Culture Tech, Women Who Code, CoderDojo and Big Motive as well as Marie Curie and the 3fivetwo Group.

Those interested in posting a Vine and registering for the event can find out more at www.codeforbetter.co

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