Contests to help spur innovation in the mHealth application market is nothing new — we’ve seen countless apps emerge from such events around the world as the mobile healthcare industry continues to gain incredible momentum.
The latest event to produce such innovation took place just before the Health 2.0 Europe Conference in Berlin, in which Aetna sponsored a code-a-thon with EUR 10K worth of prizes. Aetna invited the best developers, designers, health experts and health tech entrepreneurs to compete on the challenge of developing “innovative mobile apps to promote health and wellness across the globe.”
The event kicked off on November 3rd with the participants pitching their mobile app ideas to attract the other developers to their projects. Then, the real work began–small groups spent the next 29 hours transforming their concepts into working prototypes. On the evening of November 4th, a panel of expert judges that included representatives from Aetna International and Health 2.0 announced the best of the best.
The app that emerged victorious was “Job of War,” created by four talented developers and founders of start-ups from Slovenia, Macedonia, Finland and Colombia. The app is designed to motivate people to be more active outdoors by encouraging them to run through their cities, and in so doing, “conquer” territories. The app tracks the jogger’s positions and marks the corresponding areas of the city in a map. Other joggers who run in the same area can reclaim the territory by running through it themselves. Once a territory is occupied, rewards and discounts from local businesses will be unlocked to the users.
“The concept reflects growing trends in health care: gamification, social networks, and localization,” said Indu Subaiya, co-founder and CEO of Health 2.0. ”Health gamification uses fun and simple challenges to motivate people to tackle serious health problems, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, and live healthier lives . People can use social networks to find like-minded people nearby who also would enjoy in competing in the ‘Jog of War.’”