SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Anusha Khan, a senior of Virginia’s Freedom High School, skipped her recent commencement ceremony to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference after she was selected to receive one of the company’s coveted scholarships.
Though she’s only been programming for a year, Apple selected Khan for her work in the development of an app, RemindM, which helps young children who need daily medication to remember to take their prescriptions and alerts their parents when they’ve done so.
Khan got her start as a programmer last summer after participating in a seven-week bootcamp through the nonprofit Girls Who Code, a group dedicated to closing the gender gap in the technology industry. She’s co-developed RemindM with her friend Rachel Osborne.
“We decided to really tackle the problem with medication and the fact that a lot of children who take medication aren’t given the opportunity to take care of themselves, because their parents obviously really worry about them and want them to be safe,” Khan said at WW
“But at the same time the child really needs that sense of independence. So our app targets that, and we try to make sure that the parent and the child are on this equal footing where they are able to communicate with each other. The parent gets to input what medication the child has to take, and then the child checks off what medication they’ve taken,” she added.
Khan said she detested math and science, and fully anticipated a future career in journalism. During her junior year of high school, a teacher told her about the Girls Who Code program, where she was introduced to such languages as Python and Java. The following March, she took part in a Girls Who Code hackathon event, which also received support from Apple.
“I went there and I didn’t really know what to expect,” she said. “All I saw when I got in were these MacBooks on the tables and they were like, “Hey you’re going to code an app today.” And I was like, ‘I am not ready for this at all.’”
By the end of the event, Khan had grown comfortable with Apple’s Xcode software, which she used at the next hackathon she attended. RemindM was born.
“My brother, when he was little … had to go through a bone marrow transplant,“ explained Khan. “After the transplant, his entire immune system was shut down and because of that he had to take a lot of medications.
“And because of the fact that he had so many medications and he was so young, my mom didn’t really let him leave the house without having a list of medications that he had to take. So I feel like if he had this app growing up he would have felt a lot better about what he was putting in his body,” she said.
Khan and Osborne are now using their summer to complete the development of RemindM and prepare it for a debut on the Apple App Store. For her next project, Khan hopes to develop an app to tackle the homelessness problem in Washington D.C., she will begin studying computer science and cyber security at George Mason University.