Hi! I’m Riya, a 17 year old lifelong learner, tech enthusiast and innovator. I started off being a student researcher under the Hospital for Sick Children, where I was exploring different ways of applying AI in the future of genomics, 3D printing and VR in medicine. Currently researching the fields of AR/VR, I am developing ways of reinventing telemedicine through VR, by creating my platform Virtuary. I recently had the amazing opportunity to present on my platform at IBM’s Biggest Software Development Conference-Evoke, The Vector Institute of technology and many more conferences. Passionate about the global epidemic for healthcare & solving the world’s greatest problems with disruptive technology, I am a global health activist, on a mission to bring accessible health care in developing countries with the help of emerging technology, like VR/AR & AI.
Right now, I’m building a startup that is passionate about tackling the SDG goals of the UN, through emerging technology called Futureshot Factory (http://futureshotfactory.com/). My co founder (Adara) is focused on climate impact and me within the health sector to end global health issues worldwide. We are currently working with other companies to tackle these goals such as education, gender equality, climate change and medicine. Some of the networks & partners we have include the Government of Canada & more we are continuing to work with. Passionate about the global epidemic for healthcare & solving the world’s greatest problems with disruptive technology, I am a global health activist on a mission to bring accessible health care in developing countries with the help of emerging technology, like VR/AR & AI. Being a young woman in the STEM industry, I hope to bridge the gap not only between gender diversity, but also include people from all ages into the conversation.
Since I started to learn about emerging technologies and their power, I realized the importance of it in medical research, specifically the initial stages. For example; 3D bioprinting has incredible benefits for organ transplantation. Ever since we hit a global pandemic, telemedicine is another technology on the forefront of automation and online medical platforms. More patients around the world are turning to telemedicine to have online medical care delivered right to their homes. It’s an incredible way to target patients in developing countries who might not be able to access medical clinics, but still receive proper consultation.Impact is shown through many ways. I realized very quickly there is no one way to impact somebody. You can impact people through the art of healing, and through the art of your words. I speak at many conferences and share my story of being a young women in technology.
And often times, young girls, and boys come up to me telling me that I gave them a new perspective or inspiration. I’ve always dreamed of being somebody else’s role model. I’ve always wanted for other people to look at me as someone who could help them be a better person. And to confidently say that I have, is a blessing, it’s a true blessing. There is nothing more satisfactory than knowing you were able to help someone else. That to this day remains a huge highlight for my career. I’ve had to battle self confidence over the years many times, and I didn’t believe in luck, I didn’t believe in faith, I really was a sad kid who smiled on the outside. But I always kept one goal in mind and worked relentlessly towards it. I just was missing the most important part, the belief in myself that I could do it. It’s kind of funny every time I have a bad week or stressful time something always pops up to give me a little bit more strength and confidence to keep going.
Always thinking 10x and actually building these moonshot ideas is not an easy task because you can lose yourself very easily in them and not look at what’s around you, or who you sacrificed to get there. This feeling can be translated to any task you take up or goal you want to focus on.There are very few people in my life that can truly understand the feeling of being emotionally unstable and strong at the same time. A mentor of mine told me once, that true art is taking your pain and turning it into success. Success that can help others, success that can move mountains and success that can save lives. It’s a hard journey out there, and it’s lonely, and sometimes you reach the top of the mountain and you feel like you have no one there to celebrate with you. But the interesting thing about life is that when you lose things, you gain something new. When you lose people, you gain new people. You have new people and a new sense of hope to pull up with you during your climb. So don’t get discouraged, because everything happens for a reason. Everything happens in life to teach you new things. Remember that there are other people facing the same journey as you and you are not alone.