FastUC wins Rep. James McGovern’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Second District

Rep. James McGovern has named Isha Nagireddy, a 10th Grader at Shrewsbury High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Second District.

When asked what inspired the creation of FastUC, the student said, ”I was inspired to create FastUC because of the personal accounts I have heard about long wait times in our community, and the effects of long wait times I have learned about after researching the issue.

An example of a personal account in our community is a citizen named Lisa who went to the ER at Good Samaritan in the town of Brockton, Massachusetts. She recounts her experience to the news: as she looked around, she saw people coming out of ambulances in stretchers and being made to wait, just like her. She saw many people walk out in frustration, not getting the care they needed. Lisa continues to state that she ended up staying in the lobby for around 12 hours before she received care that day. By the time they finished treating her, Lisa was hesitant to go back to an ER ever again. Forced to wait hours on top of hours to receive medical help, Lisa is not alone. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic wait times in emergency rooms are longer than ever. Clearly, wait times in outpatient care is a problem that needs to be addressed, and these personal experiences of citizens in my own state played a major role in inspiring me to try to solve this issue.

In addition to this, the negative effects of long wait times also inspired me to do something about this issue. Long wait times don’t  just affect one group of people, but rather two: outpatient care systems and the patients. As for companies, as AJMC states, “results indicated that every aspect of patient experience correlated negatively with longer wait times”. Organizations lose business as patient satisfaction decreases. In terms of the effect on patients, a study by Science Daily states, “authors calculate that reducing emergency department length of stay by one hour, on average, could have potentially cut the number of deaths in this study in higher-risk patients by 558 and in lower-risk patients by 261”. Patients are negatively impacted as they are often put in fatal situations simply because they were not treated in a timely manner. These and numerous other negative impacts inspired me to take up shortening wait times in outpatient care as a focus area to hopefully save lives, and increase patient satisfaction.”

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.