Cork teen secures spot in global competition with occupational therapy app
A 13-year-old student from Cork City has been selected as one of six global finalists for Technovation after developing an app that provides paediatric occupational therapy services.
The app, Stellar, was developed after Saanvi Kaushik saw her mother’s struggle to deliver occupational therapy care during lockdown, as was inspired to provide a solution. Kaushik developed the app under the mentorship of Teen-Turn, a charity that works to tackle the low number of women from underserved areas and underrepresented communities who are attaining third level qualifications in STEM.
Stellar provides a safe platform for occupational therapists to deliver remote appointments, monitor progress, and develop individualised programmes for children. Through the app, some of the 30,000 children awaiting occupational therapy support in Ireland can access the highest quality services, wherever they live.
Technovation saw 5,900 girls from 60 countries develop 1,700 mobile apps to solve community problems. Kaushik and the other six junior finalists will make their bid for the world title in an online pitch to the judges next month.
“Unfortunately, there are currently 30,000 children waiting for occupational therapy in Ireland and these waiting times are only getting worse due to Covid-19,” said Kaushik. “As the lists get longer more children are suffering. I thought there must be a way to use technology to tackle this.
“I hope that Stellar will support families by hosting evidence-based high-quality content developed by experienced occupational therapists and allowing them to search for these services in their localities. Every child, no matter where they live, should have access to the highest quality services.”
“I can’t believe that my app has been selected alongside others from Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Canada, Spain and Brazil as a finalist in Technovation. This competition and my involvement with Teen-Turn has really shown me what I can do, and it has made me ambitious for the future.”
Commenting on her student, Kaushik’s teacher at Christ King School, Denise Quilter said: “Saanvi is a very hard working and determined person, she approaches every task with enthusiasm, positivity and a can-do attitude. Saanvi is a wonderful example to her peers of what can be achieved with time, dedication and commitment, we at CKSS are all very proud of her achievements.”