Dermatect wins Rep. Bill Pascrell’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Ninth District

Rep. Bill Pascrell has named Derek Cho of Tenafly High School and Kayla Cheng of Tenafly High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Ninth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Dermatect, the students said, ”Dermal diseases are one of the most prevalent and prolific health epidemics that plague American society. Costing nearly $75 billion in medical, preventative, and prescription industries-according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association-the growing demand for dermatologists and dermatological care is only increasing. However, the extensive training required of experts has led to a shortage of dermatologists and has increased the wait time to an average of 32-35 days for an appointment to a 46% increase compared to a decade ago. On the other hand, some people may not even have access to these experts or the privilege of dermal healthcare. Regardless of the reason, undetected dermal diseases will only lead to harmful implications. While dermal diseases and infections can range in their pain or duration, they nevertheless impair the comfort of daily life and in some cases, physical ability; moreover, if left undiagnosed or untreated for too long, these diseases, while trivial, may become more severe. The desire to address these issues is what inspired us to create our app-a software designed to identify dermal diseases through uploaded photos of users’ skin. With a lack of applications in the current market to address this issue, we hope that our product will eliminate the problems of inconvenient wait times or transportation that could prevent the possibility of earlier treatment or identification. As these problems do not only pertain to New Jersey residents, we hope that this application will not only help those in our state but also those in the United States and around the world.”

The Congressional App Challenge smashed previous participation records in 2022. All told, 9,011 students registered for this year’s competition – creating 2,707 fully-functioning apps for 335 Members of Congress across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia. This year’s competition set the record for most student registrations, most apps submitted, most apps per district submitted, and most districts receiving over 20 apps. The wildly successful competition continues to impress upon House Members the importance of computer science education and the need to develop a pipeline of diverse, domestic STEM talent. 

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, Rise, theCoderSchool, Apple, and others.

The 2023 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2023, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.