The world’s first Hackathon for Chronic Pain will be held over one weekend – 20 to 22 May 2016 in Sydney NSW Australia. It will use a co-design approach to build an online solution – an “app” - in a collaboration between digital technology professionals and people living with the effects of chronic pain. It aims to develop a minimum viable prototype of an app that addresses the lifestyle, social and psychological needs of people living with chronic pain, as identified by people in pain themselves.

Digital professionals include coders, programmers, graphic designers, communications professionals, web designers, project managers, user experience professionals and others in the digital production world. They will form teams including people living with the problems caused by chronic pain, collaborating intensively to build an app to solve the problems as identified by people living with chronic pain.

“Co-design” helps break down stigma

Co-design methodology is about developing ideas with the people who will benefit from the end solution. Being mentored by people living with chronic pain and their loved ones, the teams of digital professionals will, from the very beginning, start to understand what it is like to live with pain, an experience frequently not understood. This in itself helps reduce the stigma associated with chronic pain. We hope to create an app with value, quality and community trust.

You can also check out the agenda for the weekend. 


Anyone can partcipate, however anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 

Hackathon Sponsors


$6,300 in prizes

Ultimate Winner

Community Prize

Highly Commended - Runner Up

UX design workshop with AcademyXi

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Register on Eventbrite Chronic Pain Hackathon


There is no limit to what you can or can't build. However, please make sure your innovative apps address the following themes. 

Wellbeing: Being in pain every day is exhausting so having numerous ways to keep your wellbeing nourished is essential such as realistic goal setting, stress management, and good social contact.  

Connection: Living in pain means you operate from a different platform to people who are not in pain. So "speaking the pain language" with other people in pain is really helpful because they "get it". Having tools and networks to connect to cluster groups of the population who are in pain is unique to this online era and should be celebrated.  

Healthy Living: The correct pain medication, applying specialised exercises and communicating with compassionate and upskilled medical professionals helps people in daily pain live a better quality of life.  


We've also compiled some pain stories and 3D Pain Scale app pitch to help guide you in designing your app. 

For more data and resources, please check out this URL on Chronic Pain Australia website. 

We also encourage you to use Apple Researchkit and Carekit or on their GitHub

You can use Coviu  collaboration tool - online video call platfom.

Also use Essendex SMS services 


Dr Mandy Neilson

Dr Mandy Neilson
Vice President at Chronic Pain Australia

Kris Howard

Kris Howard
Product & Operations Delivery, Canva

Pete Cooper

Pete Cooper
Founder, Start Society & iCentralCo

Gary Morgan

Gary Morgan
MD, MPT Innovation

Judging Criteria

  • Problem Relevance
    5 stars: Very relevant, solution doesn’t exist, useful for broad audience; 4 stars: Relevant/original; 3 stars: Some aspects are relevant/original; 2 stars: Not-relevant and/or an adequate solution already exists; 1 star: Not addressed by the materials
  • Adequacy of the Solution
    5 stars: Addresses all aspects of problem and is exceptional in some way; 4 stars: Addresses all aspects of problem; 3 stars: Addresses most aspects of problem; 2 stars: Addresses some aspects of problem; 1 star: Doesn’t address any aspects of problem
  • Creativity and Innovation in the Solution
    5 stars: Completely original or elegant reimagining of existing app; 4 stars: Mostly original, some ideas from existing apps; 3 stars: Some original ideas, mostly replicates existing apps; 2 stars: Replicates existing solutions; 1 star: Not addressed
  • Functionality
    5 stars: Meets app goals & has additional useful features; 4 stars: Fully meets goals; 3 stars: Somewhat useable though features anticipated are missing or don’t work; 2 stars: App as presented is unusable; 1 star: Not addressed by the materials.
  • Usability
    5 stars: Very easy for any audience, has visual/auditory feedback making user experience simple; 4 stars: Easy for someone new to technology; 3 stars: Usable by sophisticated user; 2 stars: Difficult/frustrating to use; 1 star: Not addressed by materials
  • Quality of Materials
    5 stars: Imaginative & informative,includes motivation as well as solution; 4 stars: Covered all relevant info but unimaginative; 3 stars: Didn’t cover all relevant aspects; 2 stars: Didn’t cover any topics related to app; 1 star: No supporting materials

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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