12:12 PM PDT, June 2, 2021
Adrit Rao, 13, is a computer whiz who has already created four iPhone apps — all of which you can use right now. The Palo Alto teen chatted with Inside Edition Digital’s Leigh Scheps to tell his story.
The eighth-grade computer genius from Palo Alto found his passion for technology in the third grade. “What I love about coding is that even though I’m pretty young, I can still try to make a difference,” he said.
Instead of playing with LEGOS, he toyed with something called block programming. “That was really my first introduction to coding, and I found it really fun because it was very visual.”
Adrit quickly graduated to more advanced work of developing apps. The first one was called MoTV, which is an app to find movies and TV shows. The second was ShopQuik.
“I found out that wait times at stores were very long, and I wanted to find a solution to that,” Adrit explains. “So I use my knowledge and app development to create a crowdsource app, which could inform users on the wait-time at local grocery stores. I did that so that you could minimize exposure to infectious diseases.”
The third was called Virtuthon, a walking app that allows users to complete walk-a-thons from different locations. And the fourth one is Get Involved Service Hours, which is an app high school students can use to track their community service hours.
When Adrit isn’t creating innovative apps, he’s just a normal teenager. “Every single day, I go out to play basketball with my friends,” he said. “I also do fencing.”
Adrit was recently the youngest person selected for Apple’s student Scholar Program. He got to virtually attend Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and he even got to meet Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
He describes the moment, saying, “That was super exciting. So I got to tell them about my apps, and it was really fun.”
Adrit is still in high school, but he’s currently interning at Stanford University. His professor is Dr. Oliver Aalami, MD. He is a professor for Building for Digital Health at the university. “I’m now working with them on research projects,” Adrit explains. “And our latest research project is about using machine learning to classify sounds from arteries on the iPhone. So we’re able to find out if someone has diseases from listening to sounds from their arteries.”
And although he’s young, he’s still taken seriously in Silicon Valley. “Yeah, I am taken seriously,” he states. “And the way I got taken seriously was by really putting effort into doing courses and just putting in the time to learn like all these programming languages.”
When he’s older, Adrit wants to study artificial intelligence and how it can be applied in the medical field to save lives. As for what he might discover, the possibilities are endless. “I’m not sure,” he says. “But I think I may discover a solution to some major medical problem using AI.”