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Inaugural Verana Hackathon

Author: Verana Health
September 2019

Verana Health hosted its first hackathon earlier this month, bringing the company together for two days of collaboration and project development. The goal of the hackathon was to freely explore innovative concepts that create value for the Verana team, customers, partners, or patients. Projects could cover anything, including analytics, artificial intelligence, data, or software and tools, subject to privacy and legal constraints. 

This year, projects included:

  • Tools to extract and categorize information in our databases 
  • Patient apps to improve care with data insights
  • New features for Verana’s existing life science and physician solutions
  • Public policy research

I was blown away by the energy, collaboration and level of effort displayed by all the teams. It was a clear demonstration of the incredibly creative and talented individuals we have at every level and in every function at our company.

-Nitin Karandikar, Senior Vice President of Technology
Kevin Timms, Data Insights Manager, presents at the 2019 Verana Hackathon.

The hackathon was followed by a company-wide presentation of projects where teams were evaluated for: best project; highest value for physicians, practices or patients; highest value for commercial partners; and most original concept or best user interface. The 2019 winner of the Verana hackathon was Team HackATAK (team members Alex Koshta, Trini Phan, Amanda Lien, and Kevin Wood), on their innovative new platform to accelerate internal database queries. Verana plans to pursue work on this platform and some of the other projects initiated during the hackathon. 

The hackathon was a great opportunity for our team to come together to find the most painful problem in the current process of dealing with big unstructured data, analyze it from different perspectives, and work out a possible solution to ultimately empower physicians to make better decisions.

Alex Koshta, Principal Architect of Data Platform

Nitin Karandikar, Senior Vice President of Technology, presents Verana’s first hackathon award for best project to Alex Koshta, Principal Architect of Data Platform, representing Team HackATAK.

The hackathon provided a chance for members from across Verana’s departments to learn from each other about existing needs and to think in new ways about how we can deliver upon unmet needs. All projects achieved the goal of developing ideas that can aid our mission of bringing better treatments and care to patients faster. We are excited to see how these projects evolve and to see the new ideas generated in Verana’s next hackathon.

I think everyone was inspired by how much innovative horsepower we were able to come up with in a couple of days. Our focus was to build a product that would impact the entire company.

Trini Phan, Manager, Life Sciences