A heart for young-onset dementia
In Belgium, more than 200,000 people suffer from dementia. Another 1,500 are diagnosed with young-onset dementia. As the number of patients in need of care increases, the pressure on care providers is higher than ever. Having been made personally aware of the issue by a colleague who lost her husband to young-onset dementia, the people working at KBC were quick to learn that extra support is especially needed at times when patients are home alone. Hence, in this year’s edition of the AE Hackathon Team KBC Humaen set out to find a solution that would both enable (young) demented patients to live at home for a longer period of time and relieve their caregivers.
Year after year, KBC proves itself to be one of the leaders in the field of digital innovation in the bank and insurance sector. They not only market innovative services that are closely related to banking and insurance, but also want to create added value by bringing groundbreaking solutions to the table in fields where bank-insurers can really make a difference.
For example, KBC is all too aware that more and more people under 65 are faced with young dementia, and accordingly decided to seize the AE Hackathon as an opportunity to address this social issue. Team KBC Humaen opted to use voice technology because they felt it would be the most natural way to assist patients with tasks that become more and more complex for them.
Amazon’s Alexa as the leading lady
In preparation for the Hackathon, Team KBC Humaen mapped the needs of their target group and brainstormed to come up with a high-level idea. They then used the 36-hour long hackathon to further shape and test their business concept as well as develop a first Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Playing a leading role in this part of the process was Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service. AE Consultant Dirk Neefs elaborates: “The voice assistant not only makes it possible to detect the needs of the patient and, if necessary, to contact their immediate environment by phone, but also enables family and caregivers to check in on them at all times using a web-based or mobile application.”
Best Business Idea
Impressed by the social relevance of the project, the jury gave Team KBC Humaen the Hackathon Award for Best Business Idea. No wonder, according to Dirk, as the team paid plenty of attention to the business aspect of it all: “During the Hackathon we used all available tools to validate our ideas and assumptions. As such, we gained valuable insights from the Platform methodologies and the Lean Canvas, as well as from the BUFFL market research tool. The latter enabled us to test both our problem and our solution with a group of 100 people, giving us the best possible outside-in perspectives.”
The Hackathon turned out to be a very instructive (and fun) two-day happening for all seven members of the KBC Humaen team!