​Natal Net wins women's hackathon at Google HQ

A app that allows women in rural areas to connect with health care workers won a hackathon for women at Google headquarters over the weekend.

Hackathon held by Developers Without Borders

The all-woman team of developers behind Natal Net won the Break Inequality Hackathon over the weekend. The app helps women in developing countries communicate with health professionals. (Devs Without Borderse/Twitter)

An app that allows women in rural areas to connect with health care workers from Plan International won a hackathon for women at Google headquarters in Kitchener, Ont. over the weekend. 

"It's a really innovative solution that allows women not only to text health care workers, but provide photos or videos through the SMS platform," explained Yael Magid to The Morning Edition host Craig Norris on Monday.

"[It] allows women who are illiterate to still communicate and connect with health care professionals," said Magid.

The Break Inequality Hackathon was organized by the women's partnership program, headed by Magid, with Developers without Borders – a group that focuses on providing useful technology for people in developing countries. 

60 per cent women

The goal of the hackathon was to come up with solutions that can help women and children in developing countries and get more women involved in web developing and technical careers.

Magid said  last year only about 30 per cent of the participants were women. This year, she wanted to try something different and made the event for and by women. It worked. 

"Our goal going into this hackathon was to have 60 per cent women and we were able to fulfill that goal without having to put specific parameters in place," explained Magid. 

She said participant tickets were open to men and women, and they were thrilled at the turnout. 

Second place went to developers of Red Tracker, that lets women and their doctors jointly track menstruation cycles and ovulation, an app that also won the hackathon's innovation award. 


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