• Student Life
Lawrentian App Reaches Finals of International Competition

6-Asthma, an app created by Third Formers Gwyneth Deng, Sonia Lackey, and Sophia Liu, is a finalist in the junior girls division of the 2022 Technovation app contest. The app was created in Lawrenceville’s student-led Technovation club. The girls were selected as finalists in July, and gave their live pitch to judges later that month. Winners will be announced on August 13.

After learning a friend had suffered an asthma attack while walking through a dusty field, the trio decided to create a mapping app. Asthma, Liu explained, affects more than 25 million Americans and kills 11 every day. “Asthma patients might have an unexpected attack when they travel to unfamiliar places due to environmental triggers such as smoke, pollen and mold,” she said.

The 6-Asthma app indicates locations where people have had prior attacks, so others can avoid that spot. Patients can also record their symptoms daily, visualize their peak flow in a graph, and send this information to their doctor instantly. Its weather feature displays all asthma-related weather triggers, helping asthma patients to make informed decisions on going outdoors.

Lacking general knowledge on both asthma and coding, the girls began from scratch last October, Deng explained. Liu was the software application developer, Lackey focused on communications, and Deng was responsible for research. By March, they were seeking out beta testing – ultimately one of their biggest challenges. The girls reached out to fellow students, local doctors, and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for feedback.

The Third Formers are still at work on 6-Asthma. “We hope to add an AI that helps predict the risk of certain locations based on past data of community reports and weather forecasts. We also hope to incentivize users to report asthma attack locations by perhaps adding NFTs,” said Liu. “Since allergies can also be caused by triggers in the environment, we will expand our app to those with allergies. We will publish our app for free but make profit to sustain our business by advertising for doctors in the app.”

Lackey is developing a business plan, stating, “We plan to approach the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to publicize on social media [as well as] pediatricians, ear, nose, and throat doctors, and respiratory doctors for them to advertise our app to their patients, informing them that our app complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Finally, we can have some of our contacts in the field introduce 6-Asthma to medical schools, publish in related journals, and present at medical conferences.”

The Lawrentians are eagerly awaiting the announcement of winners in this important competition. “Girls are still the minority in tech industries due to the lack of opportunities stemming from cultural beliefs and gender discrimination. Therefore it is exciting and a relief that competitions like Technovation are providing more opportunities to girls to promote gender diversity in the tech field,” said Liu. “I do believe that it will inspire girls to do more STEM study as it is so for the three of us. 

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.