Blog Post
September 17, 2020

An argument for Hackathons

I recently had a discussion about the value of hackathons.

Here was my argument.


The Problem: Cancer Research Doesn't Work

The Reason: Research is Science, not health centric.  No Urgency. Not enough Risky research.  Siloed Data

  • Science Centric: Research focuses on Science not Patient Health.
  • Leisurely: Research timeframes are measured in in terms of yearly grants, next year's conferences, paper publication deadlines and tenure tracks
    • Not terminal patient hospital  visits, Progression Free Survival and Patient Lifetimes
  • No Risk: Can't have  breakthroughs since cancer researchers are especially risk adverse.
    • "Risky" 2020 CDMRP funding = 0.09B - and this is for -all- medical research, not just cancer.
    • "Riskless" 2020 NIH/NCI funding = $44.9B/$6.9B
    • NIH/CDMRP = 500x;  NCI/CDMRP = 77x
  • Siloed Data: It's tough for enthusiasts and tinkerers to create something since data is kept prisoner.

A Solution: Hackathons - Patient co-led research and biomedical data analysis for open discovery

  • Patient Centric - Patient drives process so that researchers focus on Health, not Science
  • Fast - Most of the patients suffer from Rare, Terminal diseases, so speed is essential.
  • Risky - A safe space for qualified researchers to have crazy ideas.
  • Open Data - Patients supply their own data, which stays within HIPAA

RTTP Hackathon's Track Record: Done Well, Done Cheaply, Done Effectively

Just One Question for you: Do you have enough risk in your research portfolio?

  • Is your research portfolio mix too conservative?  
  • If so, where will the breakthroughs come from?

Hackathons provide a cost effective solution for adding risk

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