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Could these five hackathon winners tackle the COVID-19 pandemic?

Could these five hackathon winners tackle the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Five innovative blockchain-based solutions for tackling the coronavirus pandemic have shared a prize pool worth 15,000 euros ($17,640) after being chosen as the winners of a technology company’s first-ever hackathon.

As reported by Cointelegraph last month, Maxonrow had set a series of challenges for talented developers with bright ideas to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The company’s aim was to deliver new use cases and solutions for MedsLOCK, a control and communication system that provides real-time insights related to the outbreak.

The winner of the Physical Distancing category was “Move-Safe,” which created an algorithm that creates a live map to illustrate crowded areas. The technology also offers a safety score so consumers can easily avoid risky places in advance.

One of the big challenges of the pandemic has been ensuring that test results are quickly verified, shared with patients and stored. (Indeed, one of the world’s biggest economies, the United Kingdom, was forced to admit that it had lost 16,000 test results because of an error on Microsoft Excel.) As a result, the winning team of the Credential and Certificate Issuance category was “VeCura,” which devised a way for test results to be securely saved on Maxonrow’s blockchain.

A multi-faceted issue

Other categories in Maxonrow’s event — called MAXathon — focused on the economic impact of COVID-19. Although governments around the world have unveiled stimulus packages designed to help businesses and consumers who have been adversely affected by lockdown restrictions, some have found it difficult to access the help they’re entitled to. The winner of the Welfare category was a team called “Well and Fair,” which created an infrastructure that enables anyone to apply for grants or stimulus packages that suit their needs.

Team “010” scooped up the prize for the Virtualizing the New Norm category after utilizing zero-knowledge cryptography to form cryptographic commitments and proofs of identity.

More insights from Maxonrow here

And last but not least, the victor in the UI/UX category was “Med-Chain,” which managed to create a machine learning-powered platform that delivers supply chain solutions for medical organizations. (Again, this is a timely issue when considering issues that the U.K. has had. Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche, a major supplier to the National Health Service, has recently announced that a supply chain failure would result in a “very significant” drop in its processing capacity for tests).

A competitive field

Maxonrow has said that people from more than 30 countries participated in the hackathon event. More than 40 projects were originally submitted, but this was whittled down to a shortlist of 17 potential candidates.

To decide the winners, a panel comprising seven judges was assembled: Holger Schmidt, an advisor at Strategy& of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Nisa Amoils, managing partner at Grasshopper Capital; Malte Schöenfeld, venture development manager at Audi; Robert Wiecko, the chief operating officer of Dash Core Group Inc.; Sebastian Diaconu and Muhammad Salman Anjum, CEO and managing director, respectively, of Avantas Tech; and Carlo Chung, the chief technology officer of Maxonrow.

The competitors were also given plenty of support during the month-long hackathon thanks to one-to-one sessions with 19 first-class mentors. They included a host of senior staff from Maxonrow, as well as DoxyChain CEO Gabriel Dymowski, entrepreneurs Steven Boylan and Joshua Glenn, and United Nations global expert on blockchain Massimo Buonomo.

Given the success of the MAXathon, Maxonrow has said that it will continue to plan events that cater to its growing developer community — hackathons that have a real social impact.

It’s also hoped that the cutting-edge solutions that were painstakingly created during this event could be used in future pandemics.

Learn more about Maxonrow

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