Christina Nguyen

Christina Nguyen



Notable Accomplishments

Medicine has always fascinated me, but my interests took a surprising turn after an unexpected call. I was invited to compete in the inaugural University of North Florida (UNF) MedNexus Innovation Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition where 86 students from three counties split into twenty-four teams and propose solutions addressing Florida’s evolving healthcare needs. My dream is to make an impact in medicine as a healthcare practitioner, but this experience has expanded my interests to include technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

We assembled a team of five high school juniors to propose our novel idea, HoloDrone, for advancing telehealth (a rapidly growing area of medicine). We realized that in many situations, response time was pivotal in saving lives. We designed a drone with cutting-edge auditory and visual 3D instructional displays. Our device arrives at the scene faster than an ambulance and drops off supplies pertinent to the emergency. The innovative HoloDrone software allows the recipient to press a button which projects a hologram of a professional explaining how to use the equipment. By decreasing the response time, HoloDrone can increase survival rates and prevent emergencies from becoming fatalities.

It was important to me that our technology increase healthcare access for underserved communities since my family comes from a rural village in Vietnam. Although I was born in the United States, my childhood was filled with stories and traditions to honor my family’s heritage. An Bằng Village does not have ambulances like most towns in the United States, let alone roads stable enough to support the 10-ton weight of an ambulance. In emergencies, getting to the nearest city hospital or waiting for medical assistance is a matter of life or death. 

As one of six proposals selected, our team was given 1 month to prepare a full-fledged proposal and pitch in front of a live audience. To determine product viability, we interviewed medical professionals and incorporated their knowledge into the product development. During the presentation, I illustrated to the judges numerous situations in Emergency Medicine where our product would positively impact the outcome by showcasing a simulated demonstration of our proposed holographic software for existing medical drones. I communicated my belief in our idea and how it would greatly enhance modern healthcare because it enables faster medical assistance at one’s fingertips. Our technology can offer healthcare to underserved communities that aren’t centrally located to a Trauma Center since drones can reach remote destinations faster.

At the end of the night, our team was awarded Second Place, including a scholarship for each team member! Although we didn’t win overall, I am extremely proud of my team and grateful for this hands-on experience that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It introduced me to new careers intersecting medicine that I will explore in college and taught me the importance of teamwork in all aspects of life. This challenge has fueled my desire to connect and team up with high-achieving students in the Hamilton Scholars community to transform new ideas into a tangible reality.

Watch the Pitch Competition