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Product forge : emerging tech overnight

Morrison, Ciaran (2017) Product forge : emerging tech overnight. Digital Health & Care Institute, Glasgow.

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Last month I found myself standing by myself in Codebase (Edinburgh) on a cold Thursday, around me where several individuals all mirroring my shell shocked expression and thinking the same thing ‘what the hell do I know about coding, data science, software engineering ….’. This was day one of the Future Health Product Forge, and the answer for me was not a thing, at the time I thought it was a deal breaker but several hours later my perspective had changed. Product Forge is self-described as the Hackathon with a twist, the twist being that by the end of the event a product, service or technology has been designed or is on its way to becoming a viable product. For me the twist was you didn’t need to have high level programming skills or a in depth knowledge of Data Science to help sculpt these projects. At its core the idea is that collaboration across multiple fields is vital for real and long lasting innovation to occur. This may sound clichéd but it’s true, at around midnight on Thursday the 19th of January over 10 groups were formed from the awkwardness of networking and group introductions, after three caffeine fuelled days, and several sugar highs and lows, at 9pm on Sunday the 22nd each group had created, designed, researched and presented a viable product for NHS services to possibly utilise in the future.