Our new Melbourne office lead the way in the 48 hour Hackathon


iWee webapp for Prostate Action

In true Olympian style, Reading Room last week completed its first Mobile Hackathon over a 48 hour period, running a relay of designing and building a mobile webapp. The relay started in our London and Manchester offices before passing the baton Singapore and then onto Australia where the new Melbourne office lead the charge.

Together with Prostate Action and leading mobile experience provider Netbiscuits, we managed to develop ‘iWee’ to raise awareness of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) in just 48 hours.

So what is a 'Hackathon'?!
 A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others in the field of software development collaborate intensively on software related projects. The goal is to create usable software, or to improve existing software.

What is BPH and why should I care?
BPH is the most common prostate disorder largely affecting men over 50. Not many men are aware of the condition, and even fewer openly speak about it.
Symptoms include:
• Frequent trips to the toilet
• Getting up during the night to urinate
• Weak urine stream.

So what is iWee?
iWee is a mobile webapp which uses digital technology to help men monitor their toilet habits and has been designed to help men get round the acute embarrassment the topic can cause. Experts in male health believe many men 'suffer in silence' because they are uncomfortable acknowledging they have a problem or bringing it up with their doctor.

The webapp uses quirky, interactive symbols to help men answer key questions about their toilet experience – for instance, to answer the question “how much”, men are asked to choose from a variety of different sized on-screen containers ranging from an egg cup to a pint glass.

The webapp represents a high-tech development of the more traditional “bladder diary” men are often asked to fill in by their GPs, providing a discreet digital alternative to filling in cumbersome paper forms. Once they have entered their information into the webapp, they can receive a printout to share with their doctor which can then help determine the cause. With our new mobile health tool, users can record their ‘toilet story’ and compare their results anonymously to aid in the diagnosis of BPH.

Coinciding with Men’s Health Week, (11-17 June 2012) and on-site support from Netbiscuits, the leading platform for the development and delivery of webapps across all mobile and connected devices, the Reading Room Mobile Hack was a relay around the globe, starting in the UK and finishing up in Australia.

Visit http://iwee.prostateaction.org.uk/ on your smartphone and check out the finished product.