Having participated in the inaugural SIIM 2014 Hackathon, I can appreciate the diverse expectations that participants have. Some think of these events as a way to learn and experiment, others a competition. Some prefer to work as a team, others alone. Some are interested in integrating existing systems and data in new ways, while others want to invent something completely new.
In any case, I found this article insightful. It explores why the concept of “hacking” is so prevalent in healthcare, and also touches on why new “apps” often struggle to make it past the hackathon stage. It even posits that a hackathon can replace the traditional RFP procurement process for identifying and selecting innovative solutions.