“Hack for Health” Invites Residents to Build an App for a Healthy North Orange County

Community Members came together Saturday to pitch their ideas for a health app to be used by local residents in the Anaheim-Garden Grove-Santa Ana area. Credit: Downtown, Inc.
Community Members came together Saturday to pitch their ideas for a health app to be used by local residents in the Anaheim-Garden Grove-Santa Ana area. Credit: Downtown, Inc.

This past Saturday, a panel of judges fielded pitches from community members to create a mobile health app for North Orange County. Six finalists were chosen, and this Saturday the finalists will work with coders and designers to bring their idea to life in Santa Ana.

The app deemed the best will receive seed money to continue developing it, with $500 being awarded to the pitch team and $1000 to the app developers.

“It’s been really exciting to get people involved,” said Ryan Smolar, Downtown, Inc. lead consultant and Hack for Health project coordinator.

Hack for Health is free and was open to all residents to participate.

Thirteen teams submitted pitches for consideration. The ideas included creating a resource app for homeless residents, an app to help parents chose the best diets and activities for their children, and an app to screen for eye anomalies.

The pitch teams drew a sketch of their app and recorded a video explaining what it was and what kind of impact they hoped it would have. Coders and developers will be looking at these pitches and ultimately choose which to work on, Smolar said. Click here to see the videos and app sketches.

Though some of the pitches are specific to one city, the winning app will be adapted so residents in Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Santa Ana could use it as well. The app will launch at a celebration on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 28th.

Hack for Health is being funded through a $5,000 grant from OC PICH, a program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project is being led by Alliance for a Healthy Orange County and Downtown, Inc.

For updates, to sign up as a developer, or to download the event’s participation guide, go to the project’s website here.

Participants were asked to develop their perception of Santa Ana's built environment. This exercise was done to assist in the flow of idea creation for the day, Smolar said.
Participants were asked to develop their perception of Santa Ana’s built environment. This exercise was done to assist in the flow of idea creation for the day, Smolar said.
Hack for Health7
Participants chosen as finalists recorded their pitches this past Saturday during the Hack for Health pitch day.
OC Burrito Project provided free burritos to the day's participants.
OC Burrito Project provided free burritos to the day’s participants.

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