Pakathon is a global organization that seeks to tackle social issues in Pakistan through entrepreneurship and technology. I participated in the hackathon in their New York Chapter from October 3-4, 2015. We worked in groups of two to five people to create solutions in one of the six streams: healthcare, gaming, energy, education, women's empowerment, and law & order.
I joined a team that sought to increase access to health services through Pak Health Connect, a platform that connects patients with doctors abroad with the help of knowledge workers.
When I joined the team, the initial idea was to build a responsive web application platform to store healthcare information and connect Pakistanis with healthcare around the country. Since there are .8 doctors to every 100 people in the country, health services are severely limited. Most doctors are concentrated in urban areas and are already overwhelmed by the local community. Those in rural provinces often have to travel for days to reach a doctor.
The initial idea targeted the wrong group. As of 2014, 62% of Pakistan is rural, and many people still have limited access to modern technology, let alone have the ability to interact with it.
As a result, I came up with the idea of using knowledge workers such as social workers, university students, and other technologically savvy individuals in Pakistan that can serve as mediums. Using this information, I developed a persona.
Initially, my job was to design a more robust prototype of the application. I did some quick wireframes, and user flows.
We gave a practice pitch to a team of judges, and they encouraged us to focus on the value of our product rather than making a full prototype. Using their feedback, I delegated research oriented tasks to my team. We wanted to develop a pitch deck with strong supporting details and sell our idea. I decided that our prototype would be a supporting visual component of our presentation.
The hackathon was my first time leading a hackathon team and seeing a pitch to completion. In previous hackathons, I never got to complete a project because my teams would often get caught in small details. This time, we appropriately delegated tasks. We were proud of the end results.