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From healthcare and healthtech to fitness, wearables, lifestyle, convenience and treatment, the opportunities for startups to transform the global (and local) healthcare industries is significant. Just think back to 1999-2000 genome sequencing project – where a 15 month project cost in the order of $300 million globally. These days a raft of new startups are offering to sequence your genome for a fraction of that price – 23andMe charges only $199 and AncestryDNA half that, at $99. And your results are delivered in a matter of weeks.

And while the size and scope of the testing on offer differs from the early large scale, global program, these startups are combining large and growing data sets to sample not only your DNA but leverage the data that they have already amassed.

The same accelerators and innovations can be seen in a range of other healthcare sectors. Technology and innovation is increasingly driving new business models, dramatically cutting speed to market and creating large scale markets for newer, agile market entrants. We are seeing waves of telehealth, emergence of healthcare markets, and plenty of big data activity being applied to all sectors of the health care industry from research and development to sales, patient care and even health insurance.

This is what can easily be seen as “disruption” – but in many ways, it’s an evolution. And it is happening on all fronts.

Where there is change, there is also opportunity

While we are seeing startups moving into the health and wellness industries, we have not yet seen the mass disruption that occurred to the media and publishing industries over the last decade. In fact, with the growth of accelerators and incubators, we are seeing great opportunities for startups to partner with more established businesses. One way that this is possible is through events and programs like hackathons.

In the hackathon environment – a 24-48 hour period where teams come together to solve challenges – startups, entrepreneurs and established businesses can come together to experiment, test and learn. Each gets a strong sense of the other – and in the process, learn about the challenges and opportunities that may present themselves.

Of course, for the coders and designers – the hackers of the hackathon – there’s also the chance to win prizes, fame and glory.

In a few weeks time, we will be hosting a HaTCHathon event – a health care focused hackathon that challenges developers, entrepreneurs, designers and students to solve some of the great health care challenges of our time. On offer is an amazing chance to work with subject matter experts and health care professionals from Johnson & Johnson and Janssen. Details of the event include:

  • Location: Billy Blue College of Design
  • When: 9-11 September 2016
  • Prizes: $4000 for the winning team, $1000 for the runner up team
  • Experience: To be launched by leading Australian innovators and supported by some of the best startup mentors in the country.

You can find out more – and register at the HaTCHathon website.