The impact of the coronavirus is having a profound and serious impact on the global economy and has sent people looking for ways to respond. A new wave of hackathons was thus created by the European Union (with countries including Germany, Sweden, Estonia, India, etc.) to fight the coronavirus pandemic, and has attracted participants world-wide to team up online and suggest solutions to problems caused by the virus.

The Presidential Hackathon was launched by the Office of the President to propose innovative data use to address needs of national development and social needs since 2018 and has already demonstrated Taiwan as a leading country in the field of information technology. In 2019, Taiwan-U.S. Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises, a.k.a. CODE has shown Taiwan’s professional competence in information security. Also, in the 3rd Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum, a.k.a. DEF in 2019, senior representatives from the United States and the Taiwan authorities held discussions on approaches that are technology neutral to spur the transition to an innovation-based economy, and expressed our firm resolve and willingness to prevent the pandemic from continuing to spread. To further strengthen Taiwan-U.S. consultation and cooperation on combatting the COVID-19 virus, the two sides signed the Taiwan-U.S. Joint Statement on March 19th, 2020.

Therefore, the Taiwanese and U.S. governments are hosting a pandemic hackathon to develop innovative solutions, including tracing techniques and technology, development of rapid tests, crisis communication, protection of high-risk groups, telehealth, etc. to overcome coronavirus-related challenges.

Challenge Theme

We want your best ideas on how to use open data and technology to help fight the coronavirus pandemic across the world, which is currently the most urgent challenge in public health. We also hope Taiwan-U.S. joint hackathon can encourage participants from around the world to communicate and deliver practical, creative and influential digital solutions to the world.

Regulations on cohack Proposals

(I) Who can apply? Anyone can apply. Your team should have at least one member who is experienced in the field of medical, public health, or epidemic prevention to effectively resolve various issues of COVID-19.

(II) Proposal restrictions: The proposal must be a plan that has not yet been applied for any other relevant epidemic prevention hackathons either domestically or abroad.


“cohack” hackathon is organized by Executive Yuan and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), implemented by Board of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan, co-organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and Welfare, National Development Council, and National Center for High-performance Computing, and executed by Institute for Informational Industry. The “cohack” hackathon themes include six different categories: Managing community resources, Making smooth transition to the new world after the pandemic, Protecting the vulnerable groups, Predicting future pandemic outbreaks by the lessons this time, Supporting front-line staff and essential workers, and Establishing proper data-driven risk communication. In the short 8-day registration period, 53 teams of 215 people from Taiwan, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, and Japan submitted their proposals. These experts from different fields around the world joined “cohack” and came up with brilliant solutions.

1. Autonomy

Team “Autonomy” designed the neighborhood public health forecasting tool that works by merging local, institutional, and governmental data with information provided by individuals to create graphical forecasts of local health in a privacy-respecting manner. By enabling mass participation in public health, it can be an early warning system that helps citizens to recognize potential risks at specific locales; it can be a danger assessor that gives government leaders data-driven advice on public health decisions; and it can be an analytic research tool that collects and analyzes local data from around the world.

2. Gemini Data

Team “Gemini Data” designed the interactive data visualization tool, Gemini Explore, can be used to process epidemic information collected by the public health department and generate interactive graph data to help the public health department and epidemic investigation staff effectively control the relationship between the patients and their surroundings. With Gemini Explore, you can quickly communicate with the local health centers, police stations, social workers, and neighborhood units to formulate action strategies and reduce infection effectively.

3. LogBoard Front-line support

Team “LogBoard Front-line support” proposed the system that records the health information of patients before they arrive at hospitals, focuses on solving the dilemma that most patients cannot clearly remember or describe their symptoms. By using the one-time link and the dashboard, you can visualize patients’ life history to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their diagnosis and treatment.

4. Interdisciplinary laboratory

Team “Interdisciplinary laboratory” designed the integrated platform of rescue package. The applicants can search application process, competent authority, and contact person of rescue package from our platform. Meanwhile, we except to produce the digital guidance of social welfares as an advanced service. Citizens affected by the epidemic can check the relief plan, medical service, temporary shelter etc., in our digital guidance.

5. Digital Epidemic Prevention System (TeamsEP), WiAdvance

Team “WiAdvance” designed the system aims to help the frontline medical workers stay on top of the condition of the quarantined people, including body temperature, physiological symptoms, and immediate alerts of the quarantined people violate any rules. In order to follow The Personal Data Protection Act and keep the accuracy of tracing system ,we detect the quarantined people whether there is any irregularity and record the movement track of indoor and outdoor via mobile Wi-Fi signals.

Each team member will receive a “cohack” limited edition TATUNG steam rice cooker, which is awarded by the Taiwanese and U.S. governments jointly and sponsored by Tatung Company. Furthermore, National Center for High-Performance Computing will also present the winning teams with domestic high-quality rice, in order to encourage participants to develop innovative solutions. Also, these digital anti-epidemic solutions will be extensively reported by the multiple ways. In the future, Taiwan will keep sharing our achievements in the field of anti-epidemic technology, and let the global village know the saying, “Stay together, cohack can help!”.


TATUNG Steam Rice Cookers with the engraved lines of “The Executive Yuan in Taiwan” and “The American Institute in Taiwan”. The maximum number of trophies is ten per team.

Winners will also be invited to forum panels. The forum will be broadcast live on The Executive Yuan’s and relevant international channels and will be extensively reported by the media to increase the chance of global implementation of the award-winning projects.

An award ceremony will take place on an appropriate occasion.

cohack Themes

The cohack themes include six different categories:

Themes Details Project Title

(I) Managing community resources

Established a managing platform to assist the government or related institutions in coordinating medical resources (medical equipment, beds in the community hospitals, medical staff deployment, social worker, personal protective equipment, quarantine zone, etc.) in order to avoid shortage of resources.

1. A negative pressure isolation bed managing system or a real-time ICU bed managing system complies with international data exchange standards.

2. A matching platform that matches available medical supplies with local needs.

3. A precise donation information platform that presents the urgent needs of medical resources.

4. An integrated platform of local PPE and related materials.

(II) Making smooth transition to the new world after the pandemic

As everybody around the world is facing the impact of COVID-19 spread, we can use scientific data to suggest transitional measures that balance the economy with the protection of public health, in order to help policy makers making more informed decisions. Especially when it comes to lift coronavirus restrictions for the public, such as back-to-school day, proper social distances, as well as reopen public facilities and business.

1. A supply and demand platform of community epidemic prevention and community recovery services to integrate dispersed resources and human resources.

(III) Protecting the vulnerable groups

Consider how to protect and assist specific vulnerable groups that affected by the epidemic. Such as the elderly, victims of domestic violence and children who do not have access to online education due to digital divide.

1. People who live at home alone, trapped at home, or isolated seniors can make demands (via internet or non-internet channel) on a platform to get assistance or supplies from volunteers.

2. A Platform for victims of domestic violence should be developed during the epidemic. Victims can get help from epidemic prevention net and social safety net.

3. Building professional knowledge sharing platforms or digital tools to help disadvantaged companies transform to e-commerce.

4. An open source platform is needed to share experiences of digital education, to make sure disadvantaged school children will receive good education.

5. Support disadvantaged school children to receive resources of digital education (including hardware, software, safe learning space, mentors, etc.).

(IV) Predicting future pandemic outbreaks by the lessons this time

Creating a disease forecasting system by using big data to better track the speed and scale of pandemic's spread (prediction system for disease outbreaks, assessment for the spread of infections, etc.), in order to support decision making for future outbreaks.

1. Resources, such as community care workers and beds of nursing homes, should be systematically arranged via a platform to cope with unexpected situations.

(V) Supporting front-line staff and essential workers

Fully support frontline medical staff and epidemic prevention workers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public servants, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, etc.) and their families to meet the needs of their daily life during the outbreak.

1. An epidemic prevention telecommuting system (including Self-Management of Health, medical consultation, and Telemedicine) complies with information security and personal information protection.

2. Health information reporting system (patients can report their basic information and health conditions via the system before they come to the hospitals) to improve medical treatment efficiency and accuracy.

3. A database of regional infection control information, and an efficient communication platform for health professionals.

(VI) Establishing proper data-driven risk communication

Using the results of data analysis to provide the correct concept of epidemic prevention to the community is important, especially with risk assessments based on the available scientific evidence. It will help to ease the anxiety and panic of the general public.

1. To establish a global database, including local infection control policies, economic data (regional time series data), suggestions of public health, and scientific knowledge.


(I) cohack Gathering: May 5-12, 2020(GMT+8)

(II) How to register:

  1. A. Upload a concept video (no longer than 3 mins) and an introduction (within 300 words, including how to resolve a selected problem, what kind of technology will be used, expected effectiveness) to YouTube.
  2. B. Complete registration on the official website before the deadline.

(III) Shortlisting process: The committee will hold a meeting to review the applications, and then announce a shortlist with reasons why these solutions are recommended.

(IV) Results announcement: We will announce the top five winners on May 18, 2020.

(V) Selection criteria:

  1. A. Innovation: Creativity and innovation
  2. B. Feasibility: Adoption in practice (including resources investment, technology and time)
  3. C. Social influence and citizen participation: The level of influence in Taiwan and the United States (e.g. in terms of society, environment, and economic value) after the solutions spread.

Further Notes

(I) Legal compliance assessment

  1. A. Phase of Gathering: The organizers of cohack will provide initial advice of the lawfulness of topics, the risk indicators, and simple suggestions to each team (e.g. whether the solution complies with the laws)
  2. B. Phase of Coding: The organizers of cohack will invite the relevant regulatory authorities to provide legal advice and suggestions of the proposals to each team.
  3. C. Final Round: The organizers of cohack will provide legal advice to the top five winners when they encounter legal obstacles and adjustment needs as they transform the ideas into real-world solutions in the future.

(II) Intellectual Property Statement

  1. A. All submissions and creations remain the intellectual property of the teams that developed them.
  2. B. The teams guarantee that the contest information provided to this event, including but not limited to the proposal, graphics, presentation, audio, video, and other materials, does not infringe intellectual property rights and other rights, or violate any article of laws and regulations.
  3. C. The shortlisted teams agree to authorize the organizers or co-organizers to use the graphics, presentations, photos, videos, and other materials (including but not limited to the names and portraits of the team members), free of charge without the restriction of location, time, number of uses, and for non-profit purposes (including but not limited to printing, display, promotion, news reporting, publication and publicizing), and to sublicense third parties to use the aforementioned materials. The teams also agree that the organizers may revise, reproduce, edit, and (on relevant marketing media) exercise all of the rights of the copyright owner under the copyright law without notifying the teams. The teams and their members also agree not to exercise their moral rights if the aforementioned rights are not compromised.
  4. D. The teams agree to authorize the organizers or co-organizers to take photos, make films, or request the teams to provide relevant photos or videos for the purposes of recording, promoting, and marketing this event or related activities during the course of this event and that the organizers and co-organizers may publish the aforementioned photos or videos in any form.
  5. E. After the announcement of the shortlist, the organizers may be given the priority to discuss cooperation on the transfer or authorization of the proposal itself and derive intellectual property rights.
  6. F. The teams participate in this event with the spirit of Open Source, and agree to use MIT (The MIT License) as the authorization clause.
  7. G. The organizers of cohack reserve the right to change, modify, and terminate the event. Please check the official announcement for the latest information.