Eden Prairie High School student Shreshth Shrivastava has combined his affinity for technology and interest in elder wellness to develop an award-winning app.
Shrivastava was named a finalist for the third year in a row at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for his project, called Wi-C.A.R.E. (Wifi Computer Assisted Remote Elder Care). EPLN spotlighted Shrivastava in July 2021 following this recognition.
Over 10 million students from 70 countries competed to be one of 1,500 finalists at the high school competition in Dallas, Texas, on May 13-19.
Categories range from biomedical engineering to robotics to health sciences. “It’s a lot of people who want to innovate for a good cause, and they end up doing greater things with their projects,” Shrivastava said.
Shrivastava also received several other awards this year at the Twin Cities regional competition, including the national Naval Science Research Award, the international Yale Science and Engineering Award, the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium’s first-place award in the category of Engineering and Technology and 3M’s Personal Safety Division Award.
App aims to assist elders and caregivers
Shrivastava said Wi-C.A.R.E. was inspired by his elderly grandparents in India. He said that with the senior population rapidly increasing in the United States and globally, leveraging technology to care for them and ease the burden on caregivers will be vital.
Wi-C.A.R.E. offers tools that act as a physical therapy guide for mobility and well-being, provide emotional support through voices of loved ones, and assist with home tasks to ensure safe and comfortable living environments.
“When I was doing research for my science project, the one thing I saw was that for seniors, one of the most stressful things that bothers them the most is the lack of companionship,” he said. “Something they miss is the voice of loved ones.”
With this in mind, this year Shrivastava added tools to Wi-C.A.R.E. that increase emotional support, including a physical therapy tool that gives the exercises in the voice of a loved one.
“My whole app revolves around putting soul into technology, and personalization around loved ones,” he said.
Wi-C.A.R.E. is an Android app that is not yet available to the public. However, Shrivastava said he is planning to convert it to an iOS app in the future.
He has already filed for a provisional patent, using funding provided by a patent award he received at the competition two years ago. Before launching the app, Institutional Review Board approval would also be required, he said.
‘Persistence to learn’
Shrivastava has been working on Wi-C.A.R.E. since eighth grade, and this is the third year he has brought the project to ISEF. Each year, he said, he learns more, improves his skills, and then is able to upgrade the app.
“My technical ability to code and design hardware and software architecture has grown, and my persistence to learn and the way I pick up information has also developed,” he added.
When he enters college next year, Shrivastava said he would like to study computer science as well as human or geriatric science, so he can continue to pursue this interest.
When asked what advice he might give other young people interested in pursuing their own projects, Shrivastava encouraged them not to allow fear of failure to stop them from trying to achieve a goal. Instead, he said to aim high and approach the goal patiently and in manageable steps.
“The No. 1 thing should be to go big from the get go,” he said. “Dream big so you can work towards it. Don’t limit yourself by aiming small. Make your limit big, and keep working toward it.”
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.