Health Hackathon 2022: Interview with Prof. Gwanggil Jeon from Incheon National University

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Health Hackathon 2022 is the coding and innovation competition, where talented and enthusiastic students gather to create practical solutions for better healthcare. One of the privileges that Health Hackathon participants will be offered is the opportunity to meet with, receive training and get instructions from leading experts in the field. Below are the sharing thoughts from our respected innovation consultant, Dr Gwanggil JEON, Professor, IEEE Senior Member Department of Embedded Systems Engineering, College of Information Technology, Incheon National University, Korea.

Please introduce something about yourself 

Thanks for having me here. My name is Gwanggil Jeon. In the Korean way – Jeon Gwanggil. I’m at Incheon National University. My department is Embedded System Engineering. I received my PhD at Hanyang University in Korea in 2008, 13 years ago. After that, I joined the University of Ottawa in Canada. Then I worked as an assistant professor at Niigata University in Japan. And since 2012, I have been working at Incheon National University. I have been working in several journals also as an editor.

Why did you decide to become a counselor of the Health Hackathon 2022 competition?

Health is a very important issue in the world nowadays, along with energy issues and sustainable society issues and healthcare is very important. Many things including ICT, IT technology can contribute to Healthcare issues so therefore it is all of our interests. Some of you are interested, you may work in this area for several reasons. I can say first of all there is a lot of resources fundings budget. So not just in Korea but in other countries as well, there are a lot of budgets in medical, healthcare issues and nowadays, Korea’s population is decreasing. The average birth rate is 0.8, 2 people give birth only 0.8. In about 2021, every year 6000 people will decrease in Korea. But the senior, older people is increasing. So this is very needed in society. And I hope I can be helpful to some of you who are interested in this topic.

In your opinion, what are the positive impacts that Health Hackathon would possibly have on society in general and young people in particular?

By doing a Health Hackathon, you will have some experiences while you’re doing or conducting the simulation, doing programs, and collaborating with others. And you will have experience of doing a product even if it’s not of top quality. But at least you can see the concept of how to approach. As far as I know, there is another counselor, the Brazilian counselor, Marcelor Albertini. I remember he’s also doing this kind of program in Brazil. And in our school, Incheon University we also have a very similar Hackathon program. It should give you a very positive impact. You can see the limit of yourself and hopefully, you’re able to complete the goal.

In your opinion, what is the meaning of applying technology to the healthcare industry?

Until now, we have several subjects you can learn. First of all, my major is computer vision image processing. Not just me, a lot of us, I think they are over 60 majors in electronic engineering. Some of you are studying Artificial Intelligence including team learning. And some of you are working on Image Processing, Sensor Network, Processing System, Rosen System and the power. And some of you are doing software programming and they just look different, but in fact, their goal is just for one thing, which is to make the world a better place. So Healthcare needs a lot of Technology, any of your small ideas can contribute to the Healthcare industry. Until now, undergraduate students probably don’t know how to link each subject into one. As you’re getting older and mature, then you realise this subject can be used or this kind of product. During the Hackathon, you will learn how this small module, subjects can be used in the total Hackathon world.

In a few words would you like to say something to our potential contestants of Health Hackathon 2022?

My suggestion to you is to be ambitious, everyone is very important to your family and you must have a dream. As long as you dream bigger, as long as you want to do something then you can achieve. My suggestion is to study hard, learn English and collaborate with others. And more challenges can be helpful to you. Finally, be ambitious so you can do whatever you dream. Thank you!

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