Castlight Hackathon 23: Bridging Inequity Gaps in Healthcare

The outsized impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities has further raised awareness of the many inequities in healthcare. One of Castlight’s recent responses to this important issue was to focus our most recent company hackathon on bridging equity gaps in healthcare.

Last week, Castlight employees spent Thursday afternoon pitching project ideas to form nine teams, open to anyone in the company to participate. On Friday, the project teams worked all day to turn their ideas into demonstrable features, UI mockups, and user journeys. On the following Monday, lightning round final presentations were conducted to select a finalist group of projects for company-wide voting.

Nine projects were presented with participation from more than 50 Castlight employees and contractors across all departments within the company. In addition to developing a presentation pitch for their project, each team was asked to select a charity focusing on support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our communities. While all of the projects were very deserving, we narrowed the list to the following top three to maximize donations to each charity:

Gamification to Improve Health Literacy led by Lydia Hu from the Product Management team 

Nearly 36 percent of adults in the U.S. have low health literacy. One of the social determinants of health (SDoH) is the lack of access to education. Factors contributing to this include age, disability, living in poverty, level of education, location, and race/ethnicity. The team tackled a piece of this issue by creating beautiful, interactive games to help our users increase their health literacy. Gamification makes learning engaging and interactive, offers real-time feedback, and, when combined with behavioral economic design, can drive behavior change. Their initial target population is individuals in the high-risk Behavioral Health Genius segment.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to The Trevor Project, an American non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.

Gender Transition-Related Care Inclusion led by Jack Steele from the Support team

The Castlight app offers the opportunity to provide additional support for gender-transition related care. The project team investigated the relevant specialties, diagnoses, and procedures and then generated many ideas for making the app more accessible for transgender users seeking gender transition-related care. Their results included UI mockups, recommended terminology, and a collection of useful resources.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to the TGI Justice Project, a nonprofit organization working to end human rights abuses against transgender, intersex, and gender-variant people, particularly trans women of color in California prisons and detention centers.

Spanish Language Support for Care Guidance led by Chris Maddox from the Professional Services team

According to the 2018 U.S. Census data, native Spanish speakers make up 18 percent of the U.S. population. Wellbeing functionality in the Castlight app has been internationalized and localized to 17 languages, primarily to support our international customers. Although our Care Guidance support is focused on users with U.S. healthcare insurance, there are many users who would benefit from seeing explanations of complex healthcare terminology in their native language. The team investigated the development cost to internationalize the Care Guidance features and localize them to Spanish. Since the cost is very high due to a large number of unique strings, the team also brainstormed ideas for techniques and timelines that could reduce the cost.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to SACNAS, an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM.

Other projects included pregnancy-related mortality intervention support, prescription drug support for low-wage workers, enhanced provider search results for LBGT and racial identity issues, DEI-based employer-sponsored benefit programs, integrated pronoun selection, and awareness month in-app themes. All of the projects will be considered for Castlight’s future product roadmap.

Bridging Inequity Gaps in Healthcare was Castlight’s 23rd hackathon. Since launching our first hackathon in 2013, we’ve been continually inspired by the degree of enthusiasm, creativity, and collaboration that Castlighters have demonstrated while developing projects that improve our product, our community, and our relationships with each other. Hackathons are one of our most popular company events as they continue to bring our employees together to further Castlight’s culture and mission.