University of Illinois student named Swift Student Challenge winner by Apple for lifesaving app

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Illinois student named Apple challenge winner for lifesaving app
An Illinois computer science student has been named a winner of a prestigious Apple award after a personal tragedy led him to find a solution to help save others.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A potentially lifesaving app by a computer science student at the University of Illinois has gotten the attention of Apple.

The Swift Student Challenge is a prestigious worldwide competition where the next generation of developers and creatives have the opportunity to showcase their coding capabilities.

Palatine native Michael Parekh was one of 50 winners chosen by Apple. His app "Pink" was developed to educate others on how to handle cardiac arrest situations.

"Basically, the premise behind it is that it takes users through an interactive game that's focused on the basics of cardiac arrest and CPR," he said.

Parekh's goal is to increase learning retention by presenting potentially lifesaving information in the form of a game. The idea for the app came after someone close to him passed away from cardiac arrest.

"Going through that was extremely difficult, but I've always believed in the power of technology to do good in this world, so I came up with the idea of making a game around cardiac arrest, and hopefully raising awareness around the issue," he said.

As a winner of the Swift Student Challenge, Parekh will have the opportunity to travel to the Apple campus and meet with other developers.

Susan Prescott with Apple said the goal of the competition is to get students excited about learning to code an app.

"I think there's a lot of power in understanding how building an app, learning coding [and] being able to build an app can help you have an impact on the world. It can help you change the world for the better," Prescott said.

Parekh's next goal is to get Pink on the app store, and to finish up his master's degree in computer science.