As this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival kicks off today in Austin, TX with SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive, part of the opening action includes the Mobile App Hackathon. Apps have a history of making big news here – just look at Foursquare, which launched at this event a few years ago. Sponsored by Health 2.0 and AT&T, Mobile App Hackathon challenges developers, UI/UX designers and researchers to build mobile health applications – all within a period of 24 hours.

Starting at 6pm, keynote speakers will help stimulate the collective creative juices with an idea pitch session as well as provide general information to the audience.  From there, participants have 24 hours to rapidly prototype health app concepts using AT&T’s healthcare APIs.  Then on Saturday evening at 7:30PM, teams will begin pitching their ventures to judges including Chicago Bears 7-time Pro-Bowl LB Lance Briggs (don’t ask us why).  Pitches are limited to three minutes per team, so the ideas and the prototypes need to be viable.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, South by Southwest is part music festival, part film festival, and part tech festival (and while the term tech festival seems awkward, SXSW does somehow seem to accomplish it). Drawing tens of thousands of people to Austin annually, it has become a major showcase for imaginative and creative new technologies.

In fact, iMedicalApps covered in November the additions to this year’s health technology category. This category  is about patient-centric health apps and technologies that connect patients, families, physicians, pharmacists, care providers, and all other members of the care team to share timely, relevant health data and drive better outcomes at affordable and sustainable cost levels.

Health 2.0 is the convergence of Web 2.0 standards with mobile healthcare solutions. Since its beginning in 2007, Health 2.0 has served as a community resource for search and online tools to help consumers manage their health and connect to providers. The iMedicalApps team has previously discussed contests and events related to this initiative.

Participants will have the opportunity to display their coding abilities, as well as make valuable industry connections and get hands on experience in the growing mobile healthcare market.

“In addition, the event will feature over $45,000 in cash and prizes – including HTC Jetstream tablets and Sierra Wireless 4G Elevate devices. The winner with the best health care app will be also be showcased at Health 2.0 Spring Fling Matchpoint Boston and will automatically be entered as an AT&T funded startup as part of Startup Health’s Academy.”

May the best app win!

Source: Press Release