Apps tackling mental health issues and stress dominate Outware Mobile’s health hackathon – StartupSmart

Apps tackling issues around mental health and stress dominated the winners of Outware Mobile’s recent health hackathon.


Seventeen teams worked from the startup’s Richmond office to create working software within just eight hours.


The app development company partnered with organisations such as VicHealth to solve real-world problems that face the health sector – everything from monitoring rheumatoid disease to improving access to suitable sport and recreation facilities for people living with a disability.


The winners of the hackathon were:


  • 3+Things, an iOS app encouraging people to reflect on what they’re grateful for in life witht eh aim of increasing overall happiness and combating depression.
  • The Flare Diary, an Android app aimed at helping users monitor their pain’s severity and location by audio or touch.
  • Swipe for Sport, an Android app to help people find sport and recreational facilities.
  • Schmooze, an iOS app that uses artificial intelligence to lighten the mood by simulating a conversation – allowing people to work through their problems and emotions.
  • Choice-O-Matic, an iPad game using positive reinforcement to teach young people how to open up about issues and start difficult conversations.
  • Uplift, an iOS game that teaches young people how to manage stress by practising their breathing.


Co-founder and director of Outware Mobile, Gideon Kowadlo, told StartupSmart the company decided to focus on health because it is an industry it is passionate about and particularly interested in.


“We have some existing clients in the health industry and we wanted to explore the area further,” he says.


“It’s also an area that can directly provide benefit to people and we wanted to generate some ideas in this space. Despite the fact that there are barriers to entry in terms of regulation, there are still a lot you can achieve and there’s a lot of exciting potential out of mobile and new developments.”


Kowadlo says while a theme hasn’t been chosen for the next hackathon, it will likely focus on a specific sector as it’s a great way to “dive deeper” into how innovation can be applied to a particular industry.


“While there were 17 entries all together and only a small handful of winners, a huge number of others could equally become useful apps,” he says.


“The important thing is the conversation it starts – we had partners there that were providing the challenges and they were all energised by the day as well. And that then starts them thinking about what the possibilities are and also starts a conversation in their organisations and the community.”


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