Cardiac emergency services app takes first prize at Dubai’s Hacka{MENA}

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Finding ways to change the world in seventy-two hours sounds close to impossible, but Hacka {MENA}, Dubai’s first social impact hackathon did just that. Despite the roaring sandstorm that engulfed the city last weekend, Hackamena brought together some of the MENA region’s most creative technology and digital media entrepreneurs to work on innovative solutions to human problems.

The first weekend of April saw in5 in Dubai teaming with teams of entrepreneurs and startups in the ICT sector, attending workshops and skill-learning sessions led by prominent industry professionals and mentors from the ranks of ITWORX, Yahoo!, and PwC, just to name a few.

Tasked with devising an innovative solution to any problem afflicting the world, the teams had to provide a solution with a measurable and positive impact on society. Out of 12 teams there were to be three winners picked by a panel of six judges from the sustainability, IT and angel investor sectors, three teams were going to win out of 12, the chance to present their solutions at the Hacka {EXPO} in Milan, Italy, later this year.

In first place was Heart Ping. An app that connects medical professionals to patients their team was working to address the fact that 9 out of 10 cardiac arrests occur outside the home.

Heart Ping delivering their winning pitch.

The Heart Ping mobile application would allow a patient to press a button, signalling for instant assistance and to simultaneously identify his/her location and align it with a medical professional in the nearest proximity using SMS technology.

The application also goes one step further in facilitating connections between patients and those individuals certified in CPR. With approximately only 10% of the population being adequately trained in CPR techniques, the hope is that Heart Ping would encourage more citizens to learn CPR and qualify as a medical aide or first responder.

The app’s founders also hope that the application would potentially be provided by the government, NGOs or insurance companies. The application already has a large market share to capture including but not limited to the people in the MENA region who are at-risk of heart disease, looking to take preventive measures.

In second place was Live Emergency Services Assist (LESA), an application that provides real time support for emergencies. LESA would identify a user’s location, stream relevant information to medical assistance and provide an immediate response either via online chat or phone. This would allow for the faster and more seamless mobilization of an emergency response team to any given patient’s location - whether it be a medical emergency or a natural disaster. The application would be able to directly connect to emergency contacts worldwide instead of having to resort to current systems which involve series of phone calls and interconnected connections which often prove to be protracted and inefficiently fragmented.  

Lastly, but certainly not least, Globeo, a media platform connecting people to news events around the world. One of the founders, Rami Salman is a consultant at Bain & Company Middle East. He provided a strong and persuasive pitch on how Globeo could change the way ordinary people source and process newsmedia. The platform would allow one to view global news in real time by uploading photos and videos, engaging in discussion via a multi-user chat platform, and allowing users to hashtag themes. The idea behind the platform would be to empower the viewer choose the news he/she wishes to receive and broadcast.   

The judges and participants in Hacka {MENA} left in5 with a sense of accomplishment, having proven that working together to create social impact solutions to the world’s problems is not only feasible, but also inspirational and empowering.  

The panel of six judges evaluated projects on a number of essential elements including enthusiasm level and project feasibility. But most critical was the judges’ evaluation of any given solution’s sustainable impact on improving actual people’s daily lives. While there were a number of other projects with social benefits such as Partimo or EduFund, platforms which assist students in finding part-time work, Hackamena judges looked for groundbreaking and disruptive ideas that have the potential to save lives or otherwise enhance livelihood in a substantial way.  

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