Participating in a hackathon, especially when health technology is in the mix, might seem scary. But participants in Revvity’s HealthTech Hackathon learned it was actually quite exciting. Organized by Boost Turku, Revvity’s Hackathon took place on the weekend of October 6-8, 2023.
Participating in hackathons is an excellent way to learn and apply the skills it takes to solve a challenge in a small amount of time. Boost Turku provided team building workshops to break the ice and help participants team up. The Revvity HealthTrch Hackathon had the added benefit of winning prize money at the end.
A person from just about any professional background can participate in a well-organized hackathon. It is a great way of becoming familiar with current technologies. In a time where cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary knowledge is key, hackathons can definitely bridge the gaps between health and technology.
Initially, Revvity presented their product development cycle in newborn screening. Marika Kase explained Revvity’s role in accomplishing newborn screening, involving the instruments and reagents departments, along with the software development and services team, and focusing on the EVOYA® system, which was further elaborated by Juha Korsimo, Antti Mikkonen, and Tommi Elo.
Minna Vesterinen and Mehdi Tifour joined the discussions to answer questions. Lauri Koittola from Boost Turku and Aschwin van der Woude from Vincit, supervised the talks to clarify and simplify the event.
Leadership detailed how and why demographics, preventive maintenance and inventory management are as important as software, hardware and biology-based solutions.
What made Revvity’s Hackathon unique was how the challenge required an entire business model with a technical solution, customer value proposition and company benefits.
This is because the general concept of a Hackathon can leave a person thinking that knowing how to develop an app or a website will be good enough; however, it is equally essential to know the importance of the entire product development cycle.
Understanding the importance of the entire product development cycle was the biggest takeaway from Revvity’s Hackathon.
The checkpoints featured mentoring sessions, where participants discussed the updated solutions with the Revvity Team. The feedback provided by the Revvity mentors during these checkpoints helped the participants learn how to implement real-world solutions.
When it came to presenting the solutions, the Revvity team further helped in teaching pitching techniques.
The Boost Turku Team kept everyone engaged as they offered participants food and emotional support and organized a fun Karaoke night to keep the event lively and engaging.
When the time came, the judges were introduced to the participants. Each team had three minutes to pitch their ideas.
Judges Petra Furu, Janne Seppala, and Kimmo Leveelahti asked the teams in-depth questions. It was an exciting learning opportunity for everyone.
Petra Furu acknowledged all the participants for their efforts and announced two teams as winners.
The teams were recognized by their solution names: EvoyaGo and Evoya Errorless Box.
The winning teams were told they would have a chance to visit the Revvity factory on the Turku site and learn about the company’s operations on November 21, 2023.
The Revvity factory visit demonstrated how health and technology go hand in hand.
Petra Furu and Telle Ukonaho provided detailed presentations about newborn screening and the use of prenatal products.
They explained the business models and strategies used to implement the product development life cycle within Revvity. Seeing how all these disciplines come together was very educational.
There were also career talks where Revvity employees explained how they have transitioned into different roles for career growth within the same company.
Sheikh Mohammed Talha talked about how his experience from academia to industry has been beneficial. Juha Karunen spoke about how he jumped into biotechnology even though he had an electrical engineering background.
Markus Kallio discussed the theoretical methods he studied in the 90s during his computer science degree and how seeing those methods in
practice within the past decades at Revvity has been a phenomenal experience.
Anna Godenhjelm’s journey from lipid and biochemistry to sales was a cherry on top of the career stories for the participants.
These stories provided insight into how cross-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary fields such as healthcare, technology, business, sales, instrumentation, reagents, and marketing all come together to form the product development pipeline.
After these presentations and conversations, the participants visited the reagents department, where Päivi Laakso introduced the actual kits used by the Revvity customers for high-performance workflows. Päivi further elaborated on developing these kits using process control and GMP practices.
Observing the manufacturing equipment and seeing how the employees ensure the products come together securely was informative.
Witnessing the plate coating protocol in action was fascinating, with many well-plates undergoing the process. The specifications involved in developing those kits were truly impressive.
Next on the factory tour was the instruments department. Walking into a big hall full of raw hardware being assembled was an incredible sight.
Ville Virtanen provided this tour and gave detailed information on Revvity’s instrumentation products.
The discussion covered the development of embedded systems and the utilization of software to control the equipment’s automation and the user interface. Exploring these detailed aspects was particularly insightful.
Ville explained the technicalities of developing high-throughput platforms so the customer can utilize the instrument for an extended period.
The use of detection technologies, such as mass spectrometry, and how it is integrated into the Revvity products was also indicated.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience to see how Revvity shared its practices with the Hackathon participants.
The details about material handling, product flow, quality testing, business, and sales strategies proved to be a valuable learning experience for those involved.
Written by: Uruj Sarwar