The Office of U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) named Diya Sreedhar, Freshman at Troy High School in Fullerton, the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge for the California’s 39th District.
After losing a close relative to a brain tumor, Diya was inspired to provide others with direct access to vital health services by creating an app, “AURA,” that uses AI machine learning to predict the disease prognosis of Glioblastoma patients.
In announcing the news, Congresswoman Kim issued the following statement:
“Diya’s app, ‘AURA,’ not only showed an impressive use of STEM concepts, but it would be a force of good across U.S. communities, expanding access to vital health care services and saving lives. My daughter had a brain tumor, and I know my family and others who have endured similar hardship would have been reassured having AURA in our hands,” said Congresswoman Kim. “I am so impressed by the creativity, talent and innovation of the 75 bright students in California’s 39th District who participated in this year’s Congressional App Challenge, and as Co-Chair of the Congressional App Challenge, I’m excited that this year more Congressional offices and students participated than ever before. I will always work to promote STEM and expand educational opportunities so future generations can get good-paying jobs, achieve their dream and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
Diya’s app “AURA” takes in MRI and CT brain scans to access two metrics of disease progression: survival time and Karnofsky Performance Factor. AURA’s machine learning aims to be inexpensive, fast and reliable tool for those who want to keep track of their disease status from the comfort of their own home. It can detect Glioblastoma in its premature stages and could potentially save lives by allowing for the early initiation of treatment.
Congresswoman Kim is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and served as co-chair of the App Challenge, which had 7,174 students register for this year’s competition, yielding 2,101 full-functioning apps. 340 Members of Congress hosted Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.