Code Nation Tackles Mental Health – Staging The ‘Free Your Mind’ Hackathon In Manchester


Manchester coding school, Code Nation, hosted a mental health and wellbeing Hackathon technology event on this week-and everyone in the city was invited.

Hot on the heels of Mental Health Awareness Week, the school collaborated with EMIS Health to launch the ‘Free Your Mind’ hackathon, inspired by their charity partner Mind. With a strong emphasis on digital innovation, the partners showed guests just how much power there is in technology and how tech can transform the way mental health problems are treated.

Andy Lord, CEO of Code Nation explained:

“This awesome Hackathon featured two things we really care about – tech and wellbeing. We’re absolutely delighted to partner with EMIS and Mind so that we can explore new ideas which can start to have an impact on the health tech sector.”

Haidar Samiei, Clinical Director EMIS Health, said:

“We are known for designing, testing and supporting ground-breaking ideas in the world of healthcare, helping clinicians and enabling patients to live longer and healthier lives. We wanted to bring our technical skills and our commitment to better healthcare for everyone to our charity partnership with Mind. So, we created this Hackathon to support digital innovation around mental health and wellbeing”.

The Hackathon focussed on three main challenges; Chat Bot, Data Feed Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Home Integration. The Chat Bot element explored how technology is increasingly using AI to signpost services and answer questions by interpreting human input; looking at how this can help those needing access to mental health and wellbeing services in real time. Data Feed AI focussed on how data could be monitored on social media and other feeds like music being listened to, food intake, and activity patterns to raise much needed alerts when an individual may require healthcare intervention, while the final challenge of the day was Smart Home Integration – exploring how hubs such as Alexa and Google Home Assistant could improve mental health wellbeing or highlight awareness of much needed medical services.

Concluded Andy:

“The structure of the day gave us a chance to explore some great new ideas; if that results in just one great health tech concept on the day – which has the potential to answer even a single person’s person’s cry for help – that would be truly amazing.

“Tech is on the cusp of making huge changes to healthcare and we hope events like these and emerging ideas can pave the way for those in need.”

Code Nation is tackling the digital shortage head on by supporting a wide range of students, whether that be school or college leavers, university graduates, someone looking for a career change or a digital practitioner wanting to up-skill. The company works with a network of pledgers to help secure amazing careers and apprenticeship schemes for students. For anyone interested in learning to code – from the basics to gaining a long-term career in the industry – check out @wearecodenation on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook or visit:

About EMIS Group

EMIS Group is the UK leader in connected healthcare software and services. Its solutions are widely used across every major UK healthcare setting from primary, community and acute care, to high street pharmacies. EMIS Group helps healthcare professionals in over 10,000 organisations share vital information, facilitating better, more efficient healthcare and supporting longer and healthier lives.