HDFC Life, IBM, & Microsoft Conduct India’s First InsureTech Hackathon

Winning prototypes included a portable device for testing heart, lung and liver conditions, an interoperable tool to boost efficiency of proposal form filling and a Smart App integrated with fitness devices and health services

HDFC Life announced the completion of Hackathon, the first of its kind event in the Insurance Industry in India, which laid foundation for the emergence of InsureTech. The idea behind conducting the Hackathon was to tap talent from startups, engineering colleges and the broader industry, to develop critical tech-enabled capabilities for the company and generate interest of FinTech firms towards Insurance. Twenty eight teams from across the country were shortlisted for the finale event in Mumbai. The winning teams developed prototypes for a portable medical device, a tool to boost efficiency of proposal form filling, and a Smart App integrated with fitness devices and health services.

Commenting on this, Thomson Thomas, Sr. Vice President-Business Systems & Technology, HDFC Life, said, “HDFC Life prides itself on being a future-ready company. InsureTech is a trillion dollar opportunity and it’s growing. I am sure the participants got an understanding of the business and this will help them create more solutions going forward. The participants presented a different viewpoint to solve the challenges we asked them to solve. Want to also congratulate all the participants and the winners and look forward to implementing their ideas”.

He further added, “HDFC Life has always leapfrogged its peers when it comes to innovation and has been a pioneer in embracing new trends and technologies. HDFC Life continues to harness technology advancements in its core functions to improve operational efficiency and hence, the focus of this Hackathon was on three broad based themes – Design, Data Science and Mobility.”

Akshay Dhana, Vice President-Business Systems and Technology, HDFC Life, said “The passion, the talent and the energy demonstrated by participants in this high intensity event were awe inspiring. The resulting solution prototypes illustrated desirability & feasibility facets of some of the differentiating ideas and validated the merits of Hackathon format for development and engagement with InsureTech ecosystem”.

Advanced technologies such as speech recognition, chatbots, co-browsing, machine learning, predictive analytics and Blockchain were used to build solutions across the three themes. Some disruptive ideas, such as fostering emerging distribution channels through unconventional partnerships, were also explored under the theme of data science.

“Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest open public cloud deployments in the world. Based on open standards and combined with latest technologies like cognitive, blockchain, IBM Cloud provides developers with the set of tools they need to fuel more intelligent and advanced innovations for businesses across industries, including BFSI. We are pleased to collaborate with HDFC Life hackathon aimed at developing innovative solutions for insurance industry. At IBM, we are committed to investing in this ecosystem and will continue to collaborate with developers and corporates for a progressive India.” said Chetan Naik, Vice President Sales, IBM India/South Asia.

Narendra Bhandari, GM, Developer eXperience and Evangelism, Microsoft Corporation (India) Pvt. Ltd. commented, “Artificial intelligence holds the key to a new era of innovation. Microsoft is deeply committed to democratizing AI capabilities and making it easy to implement for developers. HDFC Life’s hackathon participants built exciting projects using Azure Machine Learning Studio & implemented Bots which drive Conversations with customers, seamlessly with our framework. The tools made it easy for the innovators to bring complex scenarios to life with limited training.”

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