Hi5 Health informatics challenge

Hi5 Challenge

Are you in grade 11 or 12?

Are you fascinated by technology or interested in computers?

Not tech savvy but passionate about health or considering a career in health care?

The Hi5 Challenge is a freestyle competition where you develop creative solutions to tackle current health issues through the use of information technology.

Join us for a chance to win a smartwatch AND to improve your resume at the same time!

What is information technology and how is it used for health?

Information technology is any technology used for storing, retrieving, processing and/or sending information. It can be used in many fields, including health and health care.

For example:

  • A Fitbit is information technology because it receives your health information, stores your activities, and informs you of actions to take on your selected schedule.
  • Doing an internet search for information about your health or health issues is also an example of information technology.

When information technology is used in health care, it is referred to as health informatics. As defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, health informatics is the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning.

Your challenge!

This year's theme is mental health. To compete, you must describe - in a format of your choosing - how you would use information technology to improve your peers' mental health.

Mental health problems are not unique to youth and young adults, but often influence their current and future health.

One in five young people suffer from a mental health problem (Smetanin, 2011). Mental health conditions involve a wide array of health problems such as depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. The symptoms for many of these conditions start to appear at younger ages. Mental health issues affect young adults significantly and they are important to be managed as early as possible. In this year's challenge, we are inviting you to come up with innovative ideas that could help manage and enhance high school students' mental health.

This competition is FREESTYLE: You may submit your idea in any format that you think is effective, as long as the submission can be emailed. We just want to see the most creative yet feasible idea to address the problem.

Suggestions for submissions include (but are not limited to!):

  • A short video - three minutes max
  • Sketching a prototype of an application - e.g., using phone apps such as “Pop"
  • A short essay – 1200 words max
  • Designing a game

To be eligible, your idea must:

  • aim to solve the target issue
  • be received on or before the deadline
  • involve information technology

What could you win?

  • A FitBit Versa smartwatch
  • Official plaque from the University of Waterloo
  • Hi5 Challenge Alumni Certificate
  • Chance to meet some of Waterloo's entrepreneurs
  • Networking with University of Waterloo professors and graduate students working in health and health informatics
  • Free tour of the campus

Awards will be given for the top three ideas that are:

  • creative
  • feasible (how easily the solution could be implemented)
  • cost-effective


  • Participants must participate in the competition individually
  • Participants must be a Grade 11 or 12 student attending a high school
  • Participants must submit their proposed solution on or before May 30, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

Submission instructions

Email your submission to hi5.challenge@uwaterloo.ca by May 30, 2019 and include the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • High school and grade


If you have questions or require further information about the Hi5 Challenge, email hi5.challenge@uwaterloo.ca.

The Hi5 Challenge is presented by the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health and Health Systems, offering undergraduate programs and graduate studies in the field of health and health informatics.

Past winners