Medibank employees gather for annual 'Hackathon'

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Over 100 Medibank employees have come together for the company's second annual hackathon.

Last year's winner was an idea to create a self-service claims portal that uses facial recognition to process claims in under two minutes. Medibank aid the idea is now funded and is currently in development with the first stage of the project slated to go live next year.

According to the company, ideas presented at this year's Hackathon included a virtual assistant to support elderly people to stay in their own homes for longer, creating community health hubs, ways to combat loneliness and programs to support communities at high risk of mental health concerns.

Research shows only 17 per cent of Australians believe the healthcare sector is innovative.

"Our goal with the hackathon was to focus on the experience people were having in their healthcare journey and how we might instigate positive change," said senior executive of Medibank Group strategy and innovation, Jodie Granger.

The insurer said 13 ideas were chosen from 69 submissions – each centred around ways it might improve the quality of life for customers, the community and employees.

"Over two intense days, the ideas came to life as our teams brainstormed, researched, refined and then pitched their ideas," it said.

"It was an idea to better support customers and their family should they find themselves having to make an emergency visit to hospital that won the top prize – the judges loved the idea of better supporting our customers in moments that matter.

"The idea will now receive support from Medibank’s Innovation Council to test the idea, get feedback from customers and providers and determine its feasibility," added Ms Granger.

The People’s Choice Award went to an idea designed to help tackle loneliness among young people, through the development of a digital community offering a safe space to share stories, connect with counsellors, make connections and learn about mental health. 

Hackathon judge and general executive of Medibank People and Culture, Kylie Bishop, said, "The hack also offers a great opportunity to hear from our people about things we could be doing better. She loves the ideas which often seem the simplest – “the ones that make you think why we haven’t done this already, because they just seem to break down complexity. It generally means the teams have really thought through the problem they are solving for and stayed focused on the person or people it benefits.”