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First ever women's hackathon

Winners take home R150 000 for app that bridges the gap between busy parents and children’s school.

The Cortex Hub has announced the winners of the inaugural the WomenHackersUnite Hackathon that recently took place at the East London Industrial Development Zone. The aim of the hackathon was to showcase the software development talents of women, and encourage them to become involved in the world of technology through the creation of solutions using technology.

Digital Natives, the winning team from Pretoria, scooped top prize of R150 000 for its ‘Update Me’ education app which bridges the gap between busy parents and their children’s school. Using the ‘Update Me’ website and mobile app, parents are able to access a direct digital connection to their children's education and receive updates regarding their children’s progress. These updates include:

· Access to registers to monitor daily class attendance;
· Ability to interact with teaching staff;
· Monitor a child’s class marks; and
· The ability to receive official term reports from a child’s school.

The ‘Update Me’ app can also be adapted to suit other business or personal forums that require tracking.

The ‘Helpher’ team from Pretoria took second place with their ‘Helpher’ app that helps women deal with domestic violence and abuse. The mobile app is a panic button which, when pressed by the victim, will act as a communication portal to a third party who can either call the police, or personally go and assist the victim. Helpher also acts as an anonymous chat forum where victims can share their experience and obtain advice.

Coming in third was the SmartHealth team from Pretoria. Their ‘SmartHealth’ is an automated software solution that accurately captures patient data by digitising all medical history and allowing access of this information from anywhere which ensures time efficiency. The application is designed to run on a secure website and a mobile version will also be available. Medical information can be accessed anywhere, anytime. The application operates across three tiers which work as follows:

The first tier allows full access of patient information to relevant medical doctors;
The second tier allows limited access to pertinent information for paramedics; and
The third tier allows access to basic medical information which can be accessed via a mobile device or telephone.

Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Dimension Data Middle East and Africa says, “It’s vital that we continue to stimulate technological innovation and entrepreneurship among our country’s youth. I look forward to seeing other events that excite technological innovation in the future.”

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