#HackSociety 2017: Ways technology can improve public health

Kimiko Sy

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#HackSociety 2017: Ways technology can improve public health
Good health and well being is one of the main sustainable development goals of the United Nations Development Programme

MANILA , Philippines – A single tap that can save a life, a platform that can feed the hungry, and an app that matches you to a mental health expert. These are just some of the public health ideas and solutions the finalists of this year’s #HackSociety presented last September 15.

#HackSociety is an ideathon organized by Rappler and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that seeks to crowdsource “ideas” and hacks that can solve the country’s problems. 

Secret Shop 

Secret Shop aims to solve the problem of the alarming number of HIV cases in the country. 

The use of condoms is the second most effective way to prevent the transition of HIV.

To remove the human factor and social stigma that is tied when buying the condoms, the team created Secret Shop – an electronic vending machine that sells condoms. 

These vending machines will be installed a private space like the cubicle of restrooms and will only be accessible through a beep card to discourage younger individuals to buy. 

By removing the social stigma and sensitivity tied to buying a condom, Secret Shop aims to make condoms more accessible and, hopefully, prevent the transmission of HIV. 

Arooga Health

Arooga Health recognizes the importance of mental and emotional well being of employees. It is a technology company that works towards improving the behavioral healthcare of the emerging market workforce especially in stressful industries like advertising and BPO.

It is a personalized platform for employees, companies, and organizations who do not have on-site counselors or therapists but have a need for behavioral health services.

The platform aims to the gap between care providers or psychologists and employees by matching its users and payers with the right care providers based on their preferred budget, schedule, and medium of virtual interaction.

By doing this, the company aims to improve the user’s life, lessen the user’s potential medical expenses arising from not addressing mental health concerns, boost the user’s overall productivity, as well as help care providers, get new customers, add revenue streams, and cut costs.

One Tap Buddy

‘When you’re in your most depressed state, how will you feel if help is just one tap away?’ This what the team behind of One Tap Buddy hopes to answer. 

One Tap Buddy is a mobile application that enables the user to overcome communication barriers by acting as a listener or a ‘middleman’ that connects a depressive individual with an accountability partner or a mental health professional.

Based on the participant’s emotional state, the application will link him to his trusted buddies or accountability partners, or even refer him to the nearest mental health therapist according to his location.

The team likens the app to ride hailing application Uber but for services that can comfort and help people experiencing depression.


Hapag wants to solve hunger and food waste in the country through pioneering a collaborative effort between two stakeholders –food businesses that have surplus food they need to dispose of in a cheaper manner, and charities that want more food to feed the people covered by their programs.

It is an online platform that matches the two sectors according to several parameters: distance, type, and amount of food. Through the platform, charities will be able to connect with businesses that can donate the proper amount and type of food they need while still making the process convenient for them as they pick up food from nearby establishments.

Aside from solving hunger, they believe that they will also solve food waste by creating a simple food-sharing cycle between businesses and charities in the country. – Rappler.com

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