Digital creatives, clinicians and public health professionals converged on the Health X Hackathon event in Manchester this week to seek innovative digital solutions to help children eat more healthily and be more active.
The two-day event, run by Public Health England (PHE), comes as figures from its Change4Life Sugar Smart app and One You ‘How Are You’ quiz show huge public demand for digital tools that help them make healthier lifestyle choices.
Currently, over a third of ten and 11 year olds are overweight and just 21% of boys and 16% of girls meet the national recommended level of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Ideas from the hackathon could be developed into full digital solutions that help children address these issues.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, TV Doctor Xand Van Tulleken, Manchester Digital Council, Tech North, Manchester NHS, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network all supported the event. Children from the coding club at Mesne Lea Primary School were also be on hand to share their views on the ideas being generated.
Jane Ellison, Minister for Public Health, said: “We want to empower people to make informed and healthy choices. Technology now has a central role in most of our lives and we want to use the benefits it can offer to help children be healthier and happier. I am looking forward to the ideas that emerge from the PHE Health X Hackathon.”