According to recent statistics, there are almost 114,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for obtaining the lifesaving organ transplant. Almost 20 people die every day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
Pratik Mohapatra – youngest CEO, programmer, coder and what not from Bangalore understood this problem. He developed an application named Organ Secure to overcome this issue. Pratik is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science from R.V College of Engineering, Bangalore. With OrganSecure, Pratik hopes to tackle the two biggest challenges in the organ donation ecosystem—getting more people to become organ donors and ensuring people in need get the organs at the right time.
We at Neuronerdz got an opportunity to interact with him, so this is what we got to know:
NEURONERDZ: Tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?
Pratik: One of the strangest things in my life is that I failed a lot especially at the beginning of my career. A lot of people just see success stories but very few of them see the failures behind the success. When I had to get into app development in grade 10, it was difficult for me initially. It took me around 6 – 7 months to get started with it because there was no one to help me out at that point of time as teachers were also new to this and on top of it there were no online platforms from which I could have got help. So, I think that this is something that a lot of people don’t know about me.
NEURONERDZ: Can you tell us more about the 2019 AI for Good Idea Challenge that you participated in?
Pratik: Sure. So, It is a challenge where you have to come up with solutions that enable people to achieve more through AI. A lot of people talk about AI & ML but very few of them use it for the benefit of society. I thought of an application that I had previously built and I submitted it to Microsoft AI for Good Idea Challenge and that’s when I thought that it would work out. It was judged by Microsoft USA and I had to submit my video, PowerPoint presentation, word document, and other stuff. So, yeah that’s how it works
I was already a Microsoft Student Partner since I was 13 years old.
NEURONERDZ: What is Organ Secure all about?
Pratik: This app will help match recipients with donors. One of the most important reasons for making it was to make the organ donation process more secure and simpler in India.
Organ Secure is a way of matching the right recipients with the right donors by checking various aspects. The aspects like platelets count, blood group, whether smoker or not, alcoholic or non-alcoholic and other such important details.
Whenever you go to the organ donation center it’s based on first come first serve system. Thus we wanted to come up with something that is not based on this system rather it should be a need-based system. This would enable us to match the timeline and also the other aspects as mentioned above. Let’s suppose you have 6 months and I’ve only 10 days for the expected timeline and you’ve already booked the organ. Since its first come first service you’ll get the organ first but as I just have 10 days left I’m the most deserving person.
NEURONERDZ: What was the Eureka moment for you or made you develop “Organ Secure”?
Pratik: I understood the fact that organ donation is a very big problem in India that has not been solved. So I was watching this Indian web series named “Breathe” and while watching I thought let’s use AI & ML and come up with some practical solution rather than just talking about it. So I think this was the Eureka moment for me.
NEURONERDZ: Did you develop your interest in this field or you already had a knack of doing it?
Pratik: I already had an interest in App Development since grade 10 but I started building this application just 6 to 8 months back.
NEURONERDZ: What do you think, what role did college played in nurturing you?
Pratik: I think that college played a very important role in nurturing me. When you talk about collaboration with teachers, understanding about the technology – College gives foundation basics to achieve them. You learn a lot and the most important thing that College teaches you is how to learn and apply things practically.
NEURONERDZ: Can you please tell us about the situations/struggles that you faced during the whole process?
Pratik: One of the problems I think was of understanding the problem. To understand the problem, I had to talk to doctors and hospitals. Fieldwork was one of the struggles that I faced.
NEURONERDZ: Who was the first person you discussed this idea with, and what was his/her reply?
Pratik: I discussed the idea with a couple of my friends and they really liked the idea and they also gave me inputs. My parents were also very supportive; they never stopped me from pursuing my side activities. So basically parents and friends played an important role in my life.
NEURONERDZ: Many people give up very easily, so how did you manage to keep your desire burning?
Pratik: My goal was clear that I want to do something good for society and improve people’s life. There will be hurdles in life, it’s just accepting them and moving on. In a process, there are difficulties, positives, and negatives but if you succeed in the process you’ll do much better in the future.
So, situations will either break you or make you.
NEURONERDZ: If there was something in your in past you were able to go back and do differently, what would that be?
Pratik: I think I don’t have any regrets as such but maybe it would have been better if I would have refined my thinking process a bit earlier.
NEURONERDZ: Who’s that one person to whom you would owe this achievement?
Pratik: I owe this to my family – mother, father, and sister. I think there’s no single person whom I would like to achieve rather it’s my family.
NEURONERDZ: What’s the message you would want to give the people outside?
Pratik: Just follow your dream and follow your passion things will fall into place. Moreover, be good and empathize with people outside and have a clear vision in life. It’s just the dedication that will make you a great individual.
NEURONERDZ: What are your future plans?
Pratik: I’ve got an offer from Microsoft. I will be currently going and looking forward to how I can contribute to Microsoft.
Currently, the application is in a very alpha stage; I’ll be going forward and making that alpha stage to live after some time. The expected timeline is 6 to 8 months as of now.