During Career and Technical Education Month in February, the New Jersey Council on County Vocational Technical Schools is highlighting successful graduates of the county’s 21 vocational technical schools.
Yashwee J. Kothari graduated in 2018 from the computer and information science program at the Morris County School of Technology. She attends New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Albert Dorman Honors College as a computer science major.
She recently placed first among student competitors at the New Business Model Competition for her innovative work supporting patients living with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The annual competition was hosted virtually by NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Acceleration Center on Dec. 7.
Kothari’s winning pitch was in support of her business, Releaf, a remote TBI symptom monitoring app for use by patients and their health care providers. Releaf works to help providers better connect with patients and track their TBI symptoms between in-person examinations.
Using the app, health care providers can conduct real-time check-ins, helping deliver an enhanced level of interaction that can result in improved treatment outcomes. The interface has been designed specifically to accommodate the needs and possible limitations of TBI patients.
Kothari said she was not sure before she attended Morris County School of Technology that she wanted to study computer science.
“Attending MCST gave me the opportunity to extend the knowledge of computer science and apply to fields such as business and healthcare,” Kothari said. “My passion for health tech was fostered when the CIS academy did collaborations with the healthcare academy and I got to experience firsthand what it would be like to combine CS with the healthcare world.”
Without an education that encouraged me to think of the practical applications of computer science, Kothari said, she would not have been passionate about building ReLeaf.
“MCST has given me not only a solid foundation of Computer Science skills but also helped me build skills of being an innovator and thinking outside the box,” she said.
Although Kothari is eager to bring Releaf to market, there is more work she wants to do before that happens. The winners of this year’s competition received NJIT Martin Tuchman School of Management Summer Lean Start-up Accelerator Innovation fellowships and a cash prize, made possible through principal program sponsor Synchrony Bank.
The fellowship and funds will give Kothari access to resources to continue her work, secure hosting for Releaf and ensure that the finished product is able to launch in the market and make an immediate impact.
This article contains material from NJIT.