My Starting Plan
This summer I was involved with the Tech Under Twenty fellowship program where my partner Ansar and I planned to develop an application with the help and guidance of the Tech Under Twenty team. We started off creating an app that could diagnose Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo by looking at eye movements. It was called “Eye Watch” and it looked for specific patterns of movement by tracking the position of the pupil. The main challenge that we faced was finding potential users who were interested in demoing our app and giving us feedback. We went to over twenty doctors and didn’t find anyone interested in helping us.
Then we met our mentor and through working with him, we decided that our original idea didn’t appeal to enough people to make a successful app, so we changed it. The focus of our new app was to look at the eyes in search of concussion symptoms. With this app, we were targeting a way more common illness and still kept the same general method of diagnosis as our original app. However, much more people get head injuries than have BPPV so, needing to know the seriousness of their injury increases the need for our new app.
What I enjoyed about my experience this summer was the freedom of woking on whatever project I was interested in. In the future, I want a career in medicine, so my app allowed me to explore different health issues while simultaneously learning about app development and programming. It allowed me to combine two of my passions and learn more about each. Throughout the summer I learned plenty about the app development process and the importance of looking at the project from the perspective of the user. If the app that you are designing doesn’t provide a necessary service or substantially decrease the difficulty of a task, it will not be successful on the market. This program got us to learn from experience and experimentation by figuring things out on our own, which is far more beneficial and effective than being taught by someone else.
Our Finished Product
After our change in project, our new goal had been to create a game-based diagnosis tool that would involve moving your eyes to play. The app would then look at your reaction time and eye synchronization to aid in diagnosis as well as give you points in the game. However, our final product was an app that was only able to tell when the eyes move out of sync. Due to our change in project late into the summer, we weren’t able to finish the whole application as school started back and we both had to go off to separate universities.
My Final Thoughts
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with Tech Under Twenty as I got to pursue my passions and got support when I needed help throughout the development process. Not only did I improve my skills as a programmer, but I also learned about marketing an app and about consumer needs. It was a great opportunity and I would recommend anyone with an interest in technology to be a part of it in future years.