SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Aetna code-a-thon at Health 2.0 Europe Spurs Creation of New Mobile Apps to Improve Health

On the weekend before the third annual "Health 2.0 Europe" conference, Health 2.0 and the international arm of Aetna (NYSE: AET), the global health solutions company, invited the best developers, designers, health experts and health tech entrepreneurs to compete for € 10.000 in prizes at Health 2.0’s Berlin code-a-thon. Their challenge was to develop innovative mobile apps to promote health and wellness across the globe.

The event kicked off on November 3 with the participants pitching their mobile app ideas to attract the other developers to their projects. Then, the real work began—small groups spent the next 29 hours transforming their concepts into working prototypes. On the evening of November 4, a panel of expert judges that included representatives from Aetna International and Health 2.0 announced the best of the best.

The winning app was "Jog of War," created by four talented developers and founders of start-ups from Slovenia, Macedonia, Finland and Colombia. The app is designed to motivate people to be more active outdoors by encouraging them to run through their cities, and in so doing, "conquer" territories. The app tracks the jogger's positions and marks the corresponding areas of the city in a map. Other joggers who run in the same area can reclaim the territory by running through it themselves. Once a territory is occupied, rewards and discounts from local businesses will be unlocked to the users.

"The concept reflects growing trends in health care: gamification, social networks, and localization," said Indu Subaiya, co-founder and CEO of Health 2.0. "Health gamification uses fun and simple challenges to motivate people to tackle serious health problems, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, and live healthier lives . People can use social networks to find like-minded people nearby who also would enjoy in competing in the ‘Jog of War.’”

Additional apps created at the code-a-thon focused on disease prevention, maintaining healthy habits and increasing knowledge of specific medical conditions.

David Healy, Aetna International’s regional general manager for Europe, was impressed by the creative concepts submitted. "We were happy getting to know so many ingenious people and their great ideas. It was not easy to choose a winner. What we liked about 'Jog of War' is the originality of the idea and its user-friendliness. We believe that the app has the potential to contribute to our clients' health in a playful and engaging way."

The two-day event was a success for all sides involved. In addition to receiving € 5.000, the first-place winners had the opportunity to present their project on stage at "Health 2.0 Europe 2012" on 6-7 November. There, the team got visibility and the opportunity to connect with leading health experts, fellow entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from across Europe.

In September 2013, team representatives from "Jog of War" will showcase their app at the Health 2.0 2013 World Cup Competition where they will take on the winning teams of other Health 2.0 code-a-thons taking place worldwide.

Jure Triglav, the Slovenian member of the winning team and co-founder of www.modrajagoda.com, said, "The Berlin code-a-thon exceeded all our expectations. Now we are thrilled to take part in the World Cup Competition. Our competitors don't have to worry—'Jog of War' is a fair and peaceful game after all, and so are we."

Plans are underway to launch their product to the public in the coming months.

About Health 2.0 Europe

Health 2.0 Europe is the premier conference dedicated to how Web 2.0 and social media are transforming health care systems in Europe. The conference brings together professionals in the converging industries of health care, the internet, mobile applications and social media to address how Web 2.0 and mobile technologies revolutionize both health care delivery and treatment. Health 2.0 Europe is organized by pioneering experts with decades of combined experience in health- and web-related business and consulting, including Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya, founders of Health 2.0 in San Francisco. Please visit www.health2con.com/europe for more information, or follow Health 2.0 Europe and its online communities and groups on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Some impressions of the Health 2.0 code-a-thon 2012 in Berlin can be found here.

About Aetna International

Aetna International is committed to helping create a stronger, healthier global community by delivering comprehensive health benefits and health management solutions worldwide. Aetna International's expatriate business is one of the industry's largest and most prominent international health benefits providers, supporting more than 500,000 members worldwide. The organisation’s expatriate offerings include medical, dental, vision, life, disability and emergency assistance. Aetna International’s health management business collaborates with health care systems, government entities and plan sponsors around the world to design and build locally applied health management solutions to improve health, quality and cost outcomes. For more information, see www.aetnainternational.com.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services and health information technology services. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.

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