Fostering Health Leaders Using 3 Ts: Teams + Technology + Time

By Gillian Christie

The recent explosion of hackathons that generate technological innovations to address global challenges have generated queries on the extent to which sustained and measurable progress emerges. A recent blog post by Elizabeth Bailey, Director of the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies at Mass General Hospital’s Center for Global Health, indicates that hackathons can foster ideas with potential to overcome real-world problems. After organizing five medical technology hackathons over three continents in 18 months, Bailey concludes that hackathons can yield long-term impact.

Taking it a step further, it is my view that the value of hackathons lies in 3 Ts: Teams, Technology, and Time. Young voices passionate about improving health nurture ideas in teams consisting of the to-be-expected software developers but also marketers, designers, and advertisers. They then work under strict deadlines while leveraging the power of technology. Bringing together differing perspectives under compressed timeframes and with a clear, technological focus can generate innovative solutions, and the Vitality Institute is thrilled to be a part of this exciting world of innovation.

In partnership with the Clinton Foundation and the GENYOUth Foundation, the Institute will launch a Public Health Intern Innovation Challenge this summer. New York City based interns will collaborate across organizations during a four week period to create solutions to overcome chronic diseases and associated risk factors, including unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. At the end of the summer, ideas will be presented to a panel of judges.

The potential for impact lies in lessons learned by participants and implementation. In fact, one of last year’s concepts will be at the core of a public campaign launched by the Institute next week on July 1 – so stay tuned!


Interested in learning more about the Public Health Intern Innovation Challenge? Contact Gillian at vitalityinstitute(AT) or follow the Vitality Institute @VitalityInst, Clinton Foundation @ClintonFdn, and GENYOUth Foundation @GENYOUthnow for updates throughout the summer. 

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