Cork teen’s app chosen as top six in the world

A Cork teen has been selected as one of six finalists from around the world for developing Stellar, an easy-to-navigate app that provides Paediatric Occupational Therapy services.

Saanvi Kaushik from Cork City developed an app which provides a timely and affordable option for therapists. The 13-year-old who lives in Cork City, attends Christ King School.

Technovation saw 5,900 girls from 60 countries develop 1,700 mobile apps to solve community problems and Saanvi’s Stellar app was chosen as one of only six junior finalists.

Saanvi and the rest of the finalists will pitch to judges in August for the world title. Pre-Covid Saanvi would have had travelled to California for the pitch event but this year it is online.

Stellar was developed 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.

The app provides a safe platform to occupational therapists, so they can deliver remote appointments, monitor progress, and develop individualised programmes for children.

High quality services

It means some of the 30,000 children awaiting occupational therapy support in Ireland can access the highest quality services regardless of where they live.

Saanvi’s mother is an occupational therapist. During lockdown Saanvi observed first hand her parent’s struggle to deliver care which inspired her to provide a solution.

Reacting to the news that her app was selected, Saanvi said: “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. 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.

She said she cannot believe that her app has been selected alongside others from Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Canada, Spain and Brazil as a finalist in Technovation.

She added “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.”

Meanwhile, Saanvi’s teacher, Denise Quilter said: “Saanvi is a very hardworking and determined person, she approaches every task with enthusiasm, positivity and a can-do attitude. She is a wonderful example to her peers of what can be achieved with time, dedication and commitment.”


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