InterswitchSPAK: Nine teenagers win Innovation challenge with health solution

A group of nine teenage students have emerged winners of the InterswitchSPAK 1.0 Innovation Challenge, for collaborating to develop a technological solution posed to provide Nigerians with easier access to National Health Insurance.  The InterswitchSPAK 1.0 Innovation Challenge is a segment of the InterswitchSPAK National Science competition organized by Interswitch Foundation.

Grouped into nine teams, the InterswitchSPAK finalists were tasked with developing solutions to three salient socio-economic issues. These issues were in the areas of health care, public transport system and education, with focus on the out-of-school concerns. The students proffered brilliant solutions to their given tasks by leveraging technology. Each team was headed by Interswitch staff who volunteered as mentors.

Winners of the challenge, Team Neptune, made up of nine SS2 kids, were mentored by the trio of Princess Edo-Osagie, Inalegwu Alogwu and Abiodun Adebisi.  They were tasked to: “propose a solution that promotes an all-inclusive health insurance scheme in Nigeria, leveraging technology”. The nine-man team’s health solution which incorporated the current National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), makes provision for web doctors for policy holders with access to the internet and telemedicine option for those without access to the internet.

Noting that many Nigerians prefer going to pharmacies for treatment, Team Neptune also proposed that neighborhood pharmacies be empowered by the health insurance scheme so that patients who consult the Web Doctors, can purchase prescribed drugs from partner pharmacists in their locality.

Mitchell Elegbe, Group CEO / Founder, Interswitch; Tarebi Alebiosu, MD, Yoke Solutions and Chika Nwobi, CEO, Level 5 Lab, constituted the jury saddled with the daunting task of selecting a winning team from the brilliant lot.

The two major criteria used in deciding the winners were ideas and presentation. For ideas, the jury considered the integration of technology, attempt at defining the opportunities, feasibility of the idea, how impactful it was and how disruptive it was. For the presentation, the jury considered the delivery, creativity brought to bear and demonstration of team work.

Commenting on the concept, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Interswitch said: “The idea behind the Innovation Challenge was to task these young ones on problem-solving with the use of technology. Throughout the challenge, we saw the students employ several problem-solving models, using technology. I believe it was quite a worthwhile experience.”

Following their announcement as the Innovation Challenge winner, Team Neptune will receive the InterswitchSPAK 1.0 Founder’s Award.

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