3Squared runners-up at Barclays North West Health Hack

17th June 2013

This weekend, a group of experts, including 3Squared Commercial Director James Fox, attended the inaugural North West Health Hack.  The aim of the weekend was to bring together a wide range of people, including developers, health care professionals and patients, to develop ideas that will benefit the UK’s health care system.  eHealth solutions is one of the fastest growing areas for technology development, as the government attempts to save money and produce a more efficient NHS.

The hackers had just 36 hours to develop their idea into an eHealth solution that would improve health and save lives and in turn reduce the burden on the public health care system.  The event was hosted by Barclays at the Grade II listed Radbroke Hall in Cheshire.

James was paired up with Carey Cameron, of Digital mC2 and UX Designer Alex Pawlak.  After an initial pitch of ideas, the team soon decided on a mobile app designed to both raise awareness and test for symptoms of bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest killing cancer, which claims over 16,000 live per year.  Carey herself had recently beaten the disease and the idea was particularly poignant for James, having lost his father to it 5 years ago.

In the UK, someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes, costing the NHS over £1.1billion, so the team set about creating ‘Gut Feeling’, which could save both lives and money.  With James’ extensive experience in eHealth solutions through 3Squared, the team worked long in to Saturday night to turn it into a genuine life-saving solution.

The resulting application was a huge success with the judges, coming second only to Taggr – an idea to use Near Field Communication to track patients locations and their medical needs.  The judges were extremely impressed with the team, prompting Dr Ranjit Gill, Chief Clinical Officer from NHS Stockport to say “The Gut Feeling application really has a lot of potential in raising awareness of Bowel Cancer, and it’s something our Clinical Commissioning Group would certainly like to see developed.”

It wasn’t lost on James that the event took place over Father’s Day weekend as he commented, “It’s been 5 years since my Father’s death from bowel cancer and we’ve manage to prototype an awareness app that could save the NHS millions of pounds – and hopefully save other Dads from the 2nd biggest cancer killer. I really hope we can develop this into a successful project.”

3Squared’s success in creating both popular apps, and solutions to the health care industry, means seeing Gut Feeling in the near future is a real possibility.

For more information on bowel cancer please visit Cancer Research UK