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Feb 7, 2013 3:36 PM by Melissa Canone

Developing Health Care Technology Focus of CajunCodeFest 2.0

Discovering and developing new health care technology is on the agenda for CajunCodeFest 2.0.
Registration is under way for the second-year event, which will take place from April 24-26 at the Cajundome.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 includes a 27-hour coding competition for transforming "data" into health care solutions. Other events include tech talks about cutting-edge health care solutions and an economic development round-table discussion.

It's open to professional software developers and engineers, undergraduate and graduate students, health care professionals, educators and entrepreneurs.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 is being organized by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Center for Business and Information Technologies, which started the event last year based on a collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The inaugural event was attended by more than 275 people from three countries, 15 states and 40 cities. Attendees included 45 participants in the health care coding competition, 94 health and information technology professionals, 42 entrepreneurs and 35 students.

"This kind of event creates opportunities to network and build relationships, and in the end, it brings to light good ideas we can all work on," said Cian Robinson, CBIT associate director.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 also brings the winner of the coding competition a $25,000 prize.

Participants will organize themselves into teams to build prototypes and tools for improved health care. The data released will be used to create solutions that encourage patients to "Own Your Own Health."
It will take more than techno-savvy to create workable health care solutions, Robinson said. "It's a complete team effort. We're looking at, ‘Did you solve the problem? Does your application see a need, fill a need and do that well?' "

Last year's event, which addressed childhood obesity, was won by a team that included a physician "who understood the issue inside and out," he said.

The underlying objective of CajunCodeFest 2.0 is to optimize Lafayette's entrepreneurial culture, fiber optic capabilities and health care industry.

"The idea of a code fest in the Acadiana region was just very prominent in our minds and our ideas and our thoughts because of all of the innovation that already happens here in Lafayette," said Zachery Jiwa, an innovation fellow with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 happens in conjunction with Innov8, an eight-day initiative of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, that has conferences, workshops and other events, including science, research and engineering exhibits at University Research Park.

Festivale Internationale de Louisiane, which features the music, food and culture of Louisiana, Europe, Africa, Canada, the Caribbean and the Americas, also happens at the same time as CajunCodeFest 2.0.

"Visitors get to see our community and that creates opportunity for economic development," Robinson said.

Sponsors for CajunCodeFest 2.0 include the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Intel, Lafayette General Medical Center, Schumacher Group, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, Lafayette Utility Systems, LUS Fiber and Acadiana Center for the Arts.

For more information, including about how to register or become a sponsor, visit www.cajuncodefest.org or call 337-482-0627.

 

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