The Companion Animal Open Data Hackathon

  • Posted by: Travis Lee Street

The Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive) at the Surrey Vet School has now closed their unique Companion Animal Open Data Hackathon with participation from partner organisation Open Data Soft, Zoetis, the University of Exeter, Virtual Recall and Medical Detection Dogs. This remote event gave participants the chance to develop open data projects to gain exposure, work with highly qualified mentors and improve the lives of companion animals and their owners affected by COVID-19.

The three-day hackathon gave participants from ten countries the opportunity to flesh out novel ideas under the mentorship of mentors with experience in multiple animal health industry-related fields. Three winners and two runners up were selected among submissions whose projects dealt with a variety of subjects including;

  • A digital solution to exchange of information across an ecosystem of veterinary health providers, principally veterinary practices
  • A project aimed at addressing two common and serious urinary tract conditions of domestic cats: cystitis and chronic kidney disease
  • A project outlining equitable access to veterinary practices for communities with varied socio-economic backgrounds
  • A global animal disease dashboard
  • An app for dog owners in urban environments to find walkers

Winning entries were chosen by a panel of judges from the University of Surrey and Zoetis, each with a particular insight into the industry. Scores were given based on categories of vision, impact, participation and scalability. You can view the winning submissions at, learn more about PetHack 2020 and sign up to participate in future events.

Author: Travis Lee Street
Travis is vHive's Strategy Manager. He taught Masters' level Entrepreneurship at the Surrey Business School for several years, is a front-end web developer, branding specialist, and has a decade's experience advising and building proprietary apps and websites.

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