“Alexa, Start Healthx Hackathon.”

Healthx Hackathon 2018 Teams

We have been talking a lot about the importance of innovation lately, and what better way to foster that innovation than bringing together cross departmental Healthx team members and giving them a platform for creativity and discovery with a 2-day hackathon.

The Challenge

How can Amazon Echo Show work with the Healthx platform? That’s the challenge that was facing five teams of Healthx employees over the 48-hour period at the Indianapolis Keystone Ironworks Hotel.

The Projects

Here’s an overview of the topics tackled during the two-day sprint. Projects ranged in subjects that were related to our core business to improvements that can be made to increase office efficiency:

  • Virtual Healthx Receptionist that can greet visitors and notify the employee they are here to see, via Slack. Other skills include printing a badge and recommending a lunch spot.
  • Echo Voice Command abilities to show Gaps in Care and Care Recommendations, with the ability to filter by member, and status of the care gap (i.e. Due Soon vs. Overdue).
  • Voice Command access to a public Medicare facility directory for ancillary services such as visiting nurses and home health aides.
  • My Medicine Cabinet—an Alexa skill that allows a member to access their detailed prescription information via the Healthx platform PBM dataset, with the ability to refine on details such as refills remaining, or filling pharmacy.
  • Voice Command access to show Gaps in Care, with the ability to link that information to Provider Directory for finding a specialist to close that gap.

The Tech

The languages our developers utilized varied considerably:

  • Python
  • C#
  • Storyline
  • js

It was inspiring to see collaboration between members of all tech teams, following their project’s visions and helping each other out with new technologies and languages. All while wearing Healthx blue shirts that were designed specifically for the event.

Coding went on late into the night with teams keeping their energy with tables filled with an abundance of sushi, fried chicken, salads, and ice-cold Stella Artois.  Four teams were all working in one room together at once, and it was funny that without thinking, a team would say “Alexa” out loud, and it would trigger the applications for all other teams.

The Results

Friday evening, the teams demoed their results, and a panel of six judges selected the winner. Each member of the winning team received an Amazon Echo Show as a prize, and commemorative plaque will hang in a place of honor in the Healthx offices.  The winners were…

  • Overall Winner: Team Alexa, Win Hackathon.
    They created an Alexa application for My Medicine Cabinet, which calls on the Healthx PBM API.
  • People’s Choice Winner: Team Shiny Metal.
    They presented a low code Alexa application for finding a nurse, home health aide, etc., and filtering by quality measures.

What comes out a hackathon? At the very least, it provides an opportunity for teams to take a break from the daily grind and apply their skills to creative problem solving. It builds camaraderie and fosters teamwork. And who knows, we might even develop a brand-new platform capability to bring to the world. Stay tuned for more!

Overall, our first Heathx Hackathon exceeded expectations, and there have already been calls to hold a second one.