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News 2 > Global Student Prize - Finalists > 2023 Finalists Global Student Prize > Vansh Gadhia

Vansh Gadhia

19 Jul 2023
United Arab Emirates
2023 Finalists Global Student Prize

Vansh’s chief academic interest is in the medical applications of mathematics and data analytics. His ambition is to use his coding and AI expertise to improve healthcare services in Kenya and provide under-resourced families with free platforms to get professional help. Vansh is originally from Kenya and returns there almost every summer, where he sees that healthcare services don’t have the funds, the connections or the infrastructure to expand. Additionally, they are not yet able to make full use of assistive technology – a problem that needs to be solved if progress is to be made. 

Throughout high school, Vansh has created initiatives that have had a big impact on underprivileged young people. Realizing that many underprivileged children in Kenya were unlikely to be able to afford a pair of glasses, he conceived the “Old Frames for New Eyes” initiative to recycle old pairs of glasses by refitting them with the lenses that children need. After thorough planning, Vansh negotiated partnership arrangements with the Lions Club NGO (for eye testing) and Al Jaber Opticals (for manufacturing the glasses), which enabled the testing of 63,000 Kenyan children from rural parts of the country and the provision of 500 free frames with tailor-made lenses. For the last two years, Vansh has also been a member of an initiative to provide used storybooks to underprivileged children across Africa with the aim of boosting literacy. During this time he has sorted over 10,000 storybooks by age and hand-packed them into boxes for shipping to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – for which he received an award from the UAE’s Minister of Youth. 

Vansh is also actively involved in research. Last year, he worked with Dr Farah Shamout at the NYU AD Clinical AI lab to develop a machine learning model that will predict urinary tract infections in patients, minimizing the prescription of antibiotics. This work was presented at the Faculty of Clinical Informatics Scientific Conference in 2022 and also featured in BMJ Journals. In addition to his medical interests, Vansh is also lead drummer for the UAE National Youth Orchestra and is ranked 44th in the UAE for tennis. He was the runner-up speaker in the Modern World Debates competition (with over 200 debaters and 50 teams), won second place at the iCodeJr hackathon, and achieved a Gold Award in the Oxford University British Physics Astro Challenge. 

If Vansh wins the Global Student Prize 2023, he would like to improve healthcare services in Kenya by (a) paying for advanced eye tests so that people with eye issues will get professional help; (b) employing people to gather more data for his machine learning project on Kenyan healthcare (which requires interviewing many more patients); (c) creating a platform where dieticians and endocrinologists can give advice on diabetes and how to reduce effects of the disease; (d) link his hyperparameter tuned algorithm to the platform so people will be able to test themselves for diabetes within a high confidence interval.  

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