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Suchitaa Sawhney holds her $750 check from the Raymond Ideas Challenge with judges.
Suchitaa Sawhney won $750 for placing fifth in the Raymond Big Ideas Competition. | Image: Courtesy of Suchitaa Sawhney

Last November, Texas A&M University junior biomedical engineering student Suchitaa Sawhney placed fifth in the 2022 Raymond Ideas Challenge for developing an app, Melasure, to help differentiate melanomas of the skin from moles using image analysis.

According to Sawhney’s research, approximately two people die from skin cancer every hour in the United States. She found that most people cannot afford to visit the doctor whenever they see a new mole, leading to late diagnosis when cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body, often becoming disfiguring and deadly.

Melasure represents the unique opportunity I have to improve the health of communities that are too often overlooked,” she said. “I hope to make Melasure affordable so that it is accessible to users of all socioeconomic backgrounds.“

In order to compete in the Raymond Ideas Challenge, student submissions are pre-screened by a panel of judges. Then, the students with the most promising ideas are invited to present at the final pitch event. The top six teams get awarded prizes with honorable mentions. 

“My advice to engineers is to take advantage of all of the free programs and scholarships offered by Texas A&M,” said Sawhney. “There are tons of programs, like Aggies Invent, that are free to students and can help greatly with on-the-spot thinking and developing other core skills.”