Sawsan Jafar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Friends of Cancer Patients, and Aisha Aisha Al Mulla, interact with students at the event.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The Ana-vation Competition, organised by Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP), has officially come to a close, awarding exceptional students for their innovative app development in aid of cancer awareness and early detection of the disease. This year, the competition saw more than 150 students from six schools across Sharjah participating in the third edition of the initiative, which aims to educate the youth and stimulate their participation in the global fight against cancer.
The competition, which was a four-month initiative, aimed to integrate students’ efforts through the use of futuristic technologies by building innovative solutions that raise awareness and help patients. To help prepare students for the comprehensive and engaging programming sessions, FOCP and Geek Express provided hands-on lessons about app development before dividing them into groups of three, to develop an app that focuses on health, well-being, and early cancer detection.
The culmination of these preparations was an award ceremony, where students were given the opportunity to pitch their app to a jury of renowned judges, chosen by Geek Express and FOCP. Students that excelled in their newly found app development skills were recognised at an awards ceremony and received incredible prizes including top of the range Asus Laptops, medals, trophies and certificates.
In the 15-17 age group, the winning projects were ‘Cancsaver’ from ASPAM School in Sharjah, ‘CancerUnity’ from American School of Creative Science in Sharjah, and ‘MedMinder’ from ASPAM School in Sharjah. ‘Cancsaver’ is an app designed to help the lives of individuals fighting against cancer, focusing on the patient's overall well-being which includes the mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being. ‘CancerUnity’ is an educational and entertaining hub that helps cancer patients using a variety of features. ‘MedMinder’ is a medication calculator and refill reminder for cancer patients, helping to keep track of the patient's medication intake and when to order or visit a doctor for a refill.
In the 11-14 age group, the winning projects were ‘Defeat Cancer’ , ‘Can’ and ‘Cancer Mate,’ all from Ambassador School in Sharjah. ‘Defeat Cancer’ is an app that helps cancer patients in their journey, featuring useful tools designed specifically to connect patients with doctors, enhance their mental health and provide entertainment. ‘Can’ is an app that provides assistance for cancer patients by facilitating communication and coordination between the patient and different caregivers. ‘Cancer Mate’ is an app that is able to detect the patient's facial expression via AI, this feature will help keep a log of the patients moods over the course of his/her recovery. During her speech at the closing ceremony Mrs Sawsan Jafar, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Friends of Cancer Patients stated, "The Ana-vation Competition is a unique initiative that empowers students by instilling the knowledge and skills to produce and showcase their talents in app development, thus providing innovative solutions for the modern world. The students who have participated in this competition have not only honed their app development skills, but also learned about the importance of early detection of cancer and the role that technology can play in this area."
The Ana-vation Competition, which comes in collaboration with the Sharjah Private Educational Authority, Amazon.ae, and the Children’s Cancer Center in Lebanon, is a combination of the words “Ana” and “Innovation”, and seeks to generate a greater degree of involvement from the community, including its youngest members, increasing awareness about childhood cancer, and inspire young students, doctors, researchers, and scientists to dedicate themselves to identifying, treating, and conquering the disease.
Aisha Al Mulla, Director of Friends of Cancer Patients had this to say during her speech at the closing ceremony: "This competition is not just about awarding prizes, it's about celebrating the achievements of the students who have participated and their dedication to using technology to create innovative solutions and raise awareness in the global fight against cancer. It is an honour to be a part of their journey and to witness the impact they will make on society as they continue to work towards a cancer-free world."
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