Castlight Hackathon 25: Simplifying Navigation for a More Personal Health Journey

Over the summer, Castlight hosted its 25th Hackathon—Simplifying Navigation. This theme ties in nicely to our overall goal as a company, which is to make it as easy as possible for our members to navigate their personal health journey and, ultimately, live healthier, happier, more productive lives. 

Overall, 15 teams presented final projects, and more than 52 Castlighters from a variety of departments and teams participated. Four winners were selected and each team chose a charity for Castlight to donate to. As Castlight moves forward with planning, all four of these projects will be seriously considered for inclusion in our product roadmap.

Castlight Digital Assistant led by Uma Karnati from the Engineering Team

For members who aren’t very tech-savvy, it can be tricky to find specific information they’re looking for in the Castlight app. To enable them to more easily navigate the platform, this team proposed creating a digital assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Castlight users could use voice or text commands to ask the digital assistant to help them get exactly where they need to go, whether they want to search for a specialist, view one of their claims, check in on their team’s challenge status, or utilize one of Castlight’s many other functionalities. This in-app assistant would help drive more members toward the right care at the right time, and it could also provide Castlight with valuable insights into the problems members are trying to solve, ultimately informing the company’s product roadmap.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to Feeding America.

Conversational AI led by Dustyn Pressman-Zeind from the Engineering team

Introducing: A Castlight chatbot! With Conversational AI, members could ask all of their healthcare-related questions in one place and receive answers in a timely and conversational manner. The chatbot would be able to answer questions like:

  • Does insurance cover my daughter’s MRI?
  • What’s my deductible?
  • When was my last annual physical exam?

This feature would also serve as a great complement to Castlight Care Guides, our team of clinical and benefits experts. When a member asks a Care Guide a question via the in-app messaging function, the chatbot would provide the Care Guides with the answer (but only on the Care Guide’s end), which would eliminate the need for the Care Guide to leave the chat to find the information, thus allowing us to provide the member with an answer more quickly.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to Doctors Without Borders.

Create a Real User Journey led by Keryn Breiterman-Loader from the Product Management team

Currently, when a member opens up their Castlight app, there’s one, static interface featuring a plethora of options to choose from, such as challenges, healthy habits, viewing their HSA balance, and more. To make it even easier for members to figure out the next best step for their specific health journey, Keryn and her team designed a new member onboarding experience in which the member would answer a few questions then be prompted to focus on one thing at a time—rather than the static interface with multiple options—based on their preferences, priorities, and other member data (e.g., healthcare claims and user search activity). Over time, the area of focus would change along with the member’s activity and needs. The ultimate goal is to help the member understand exactly what they should be doing and when, which could increase engagement, get more people the right care at the right time, and lead to better overall health outcomes.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

In an Emergency? led by Matt Giguere from the Engineering team 

When members have a life-threatening emergency, they can call 911. But what can they do in a situation that’s serious and urgent but not life threatening? Like when someone falls and hurts their knee, burns their hand while cooking, or twists their ankle. Right now, there isn’t a clear way to address non-life threatening emergencies within the Castlight app. This project team wants to fix that with a pre-login emergency button that would automatically search for nearby hospital emergency rooms and urgent care clinics and present up to three of the closest options. Utilizing real-time map data that considers factors like traffic and road closures, the suggested facilities would be presented by travel time (rather than actual distance). Additionally, they would be open to all insurance plans to help avoid surprise out-of-network bills, and the button would redirect members to 911 if the emergency was life-threatening.

On behalf of this project, Castlight is making a donation to the Cancer Research Institute.


Other project ideas included improving the app’s EAP integration, providing members with customized action plans that address gaps in care, adding images to push notifications, creating a personalized home page, and more. 

Simplifying Navigation was Castlight’s 25th hackathon since launching our first one in 2013. Hackathons are a great opportunity for employees across the entire organization to come together, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on bringing those ideas to life. We are continuously impressed by the degree of enthusiasm, creativity, and teamwork Castlighters display during these fun events.