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Hackathon for Cystic Fibrosis: Technology brainstorming with a health care twist

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Holly Korschun

What: Hack for CF: Hackathon for Cystic Fibrosis     

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 10:00 a.m. – Sunday, Oct. 6, 3:00 p.m.
Where: Georgia Institute of Technology, Clough Undergraduate Learning Center, 266 4th Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313
Who: Cystic fibrosis (CF) experts, data scientists, technologists, developers, designers, and others interested in making a difference for people with CF.
Hackathons are known in the technology world as brainstorming events bringing together computer programmers, designers, and managers to accomplish software development.
This weekend’s Hack for CF will use the hackathon concept to focus on Cystic Fibrosis, in one of the first-ever hackathons with a health care focus.
"Hack for CF developed from a conversation with one of our pediatric patients and his dad," says Nael McCarty, PhD, Marcus Professor of Cystic Fibrosis and director of the Emory-Children’s Healthcare Center for Cystic Fibrosis Research. "We want to work with other creative minds in Atlanta to develop new tools that will make a real difference for the lives of CF patients everywhere."
Hack for CF will focus on three areas: big data, products and mobile/web. Stakeholders and CF experts will collaborate and brainstorm with data scientists, designers and technologists.
Cash and prizes worth more than $6,000 will be awarded to the best-performing teams.

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common life-shortening genetic disease among Caucasians in the U.S., and the second most common genetic disease overall. CF impacts patients’ lives every day from birth onward, and management of the disease becomes a life-long focus for patients and their families.

Because CF is a highly complex disease, affecting many different organ systems, patients are required to take many forms of oral and aerosolized medications, have special nutritional needs, and must undergo a variety of treatments every day to avoid life-threatening bacterial infections. In many cases, this calls for up to three hours of care, per patient, per day.

Atlanta is home to the second-largest CF clinical program in the country, co- managed by Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Researchers at Emory and Children’s are teaming up with engineers at Georgia Tech, with support from the CF Foundation, to form CF@LANTA, a comprehensive program that will bring new approaches to improve patient care.

Sponsors of Hack for CF include Emory University, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Institute of Technology, in addition to many local businesses. A complete list of sponsors is available on the Hack for CF website.
A limited number of free vouchers are available for parking on the Georgia Tech campus.
For more information, and to register, visit

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