Rep. Byron Donalds has named Nicholas Harty and Aum Dhruv from Fort Myers High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 19th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Medibound, the students said, “Earlier this year, one of our team member’s grandparents was trying to access her medical records from years ago. Not only did it take weeks to recover her records, but there was a lack of communication and a lack of assurance that they were still available. Had her records been digitized, she wouldn’t have had to request them and wait for her request to be fulfilled. Most importantly, even if these records had been digitized, the wait to receive her own medical data placed her at risk as she required them to make crucial medical decisions. After expressing her concern with one of our team members, it dawned upon him that there seemed to be no efficient platform for real-time digital medical record-keeping. Unfortunately, within our modern digital age, the medical data of the consumer is often misused and mishandled. After noticing the lack of privacy that corporations displayed when it came to handling data, our team was inspired to innovate beyond such limitations.
When envisioning our app, we wanted patients to be in control of which individuals and corporations had access to their medical data. In this way, we incorporated a private and secure system for the intended user. In addition to this, we wanted patients to have secure user identification features, in which patients would verify their identity with a government-issued identification card that no one else could replicate. We also incorporated all-around data verification. Through this verification system, users could approve and remove organizations that wished to add to their data stream. Even when a partner organization was approved by a user, they still only had limited reign over viewable data and could only manage within the scope of their own data reports.
Another source of inspiration was the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed the way many medical firms and healthcare workers operate over the past two years. Due to the pandemic, we incorporated contactless NFC communication as a way for doctors and patients to share information while staying safe and healthy. NFC communication also permitted another layer of safety, as it allowed for the wireless transfer of secure data from a host device to a consumer device. All of these sources of motivation have made us successful in our efforts, and have allowed us to overcome hardships. Our team’s ability to persevere has inspired us to innovate beyond a traditional medical app.”
The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.
The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.
The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.