At the Makerthon kick-off event at Deutsche Telekom’s HQ in Bonn on 15th November, 76 participants working in 11 teams started their quest to develop business concepts accompanied with hardware prototypes for one of the following challenges:
The participants included scientists, designers, developers, marketing experts, medical doctors and healthcare professionals, as well as students. The overall goal was to develop a completely new solution that pushes the boundaries of innovation at the interface between healthcare and IoT. The new, flexible format provided the teams with access to two fully equipped Makerspaces. Mentoring and coaching was provided by the Challenge Owners and other topic experts from Merck and Deutsche Telekom. Overall, the whole event was also supported by the Institute for Digital Transformation in Healthcare (idigiT) of University Witten/Herdecke.
After three weeks of development, the teams had the option to work at the Merck Innovation Center for a full 24 hours before the final pitch event on December 8th. This created a hackathon-style atmosphere in which the tension mounted until preparations were finished, pitches completed, and it was finally time to reveal the winners:
Three more teams were awarded for their outstanding concepts:
Moreover, all 5 winning teams also received a special trophy each, individually created by the Makerspace team of the Merck Innovation Center.
The overall standard of results produced by the teams was so high and impressive that three additional winner categories were created to reflect the extremely high standard of the submissions. The three teams ‘SpectralPals’, ‘Streamteam’, and ‘iService Call’ were put in spotlight through this.
Some of the teams already plan to patent their idea, found a startup, or even set up the first (pre-clinical) trials to validate their solutions – with Merck and Deutsche Telekom committed to support bringing these great ideas to the next level.