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January 26, 2023

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Advances in education technology, or edtech, come from a change in approach in the face of shortcomings. Innovative educational technology can adapt existing tools or create new tools to help people overcome barriers to learning.

King of the Curve (KOTC) is a disruptive edtech startup that is all set to help address the growing shortage of doctors. KOTC combines sports and social strategies to help science students score better on medical school entrance exams and related challenges. The company is also developing productivity-style apps to help health care workers in the field better manage the challenges of medical treatment.

Heather Rutledge-Jukes founded the company to pursue a career in psychology before focusing on becoming a surgeon. He is now a medical student at Washington University School of Medicine.

Before entering medical school, however, he took an unlikely detour to put his science skills to use as a software developer. Rutledge-Jucks transitioned from designing instructional strategies for people with dyslexia to creating a series of exam preparation apps for medical school applicants.

KOTC does not copy other self-learning products and is not based on typical learning app thinking.

“People have their own learning paths. Education should be based on that. It’s not just cookie-cutter templates for everyone,” Rutledge-Jukes told TechNewsWorld.

The app is optimized for user performance

That philosophy is evident in his educational path. As a psychology major, Rutledge-Jukes researched various teaching methods. His research focused primarily on using video games to learn valid skills such as eye-hand coordination, strategic thinking, critical thinking, and more.

After graduating from college, he designed learning tools for children with dyslexia. That effort included the creation of tactile devices for young students to better understand and retain information.

Unlike other learning tools, KOTC does not become routine or less useful to users due to over-familiarity. Instead, the app adapts to the user’s performance so that they can improvise, not just memorize predetermined answers.

King of the Curve's gamification app for MCAT study

The King of the Curve app uses game-based elements to help students study for the Medical School Entrance Exam. Its features include Adaptive Question Bank, Review Mode, Endless Mode, Timed Mode and Multiplayer Mode. (Photos courtesy of King of the Curve)


Educational apps may remain without updates for extended periods. Or they rely on rote learning strategies, which limit progress to the test of learning. “It makes users more desperate to try something else,” Rutledge-Jukes said.

make a better mousetrap

Rutledge-Jucks launched KOTC in 2020 with a focus on preparing students for the Medical School Admissions Test, known as the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT. Test prep for admission to medical schools was a logical starting point for his company’s first educational app. The developer was already well aware of its contents.

“That’s how we started. That was the seed to put together this app to help people qualify for various tests,” he said.

KOTC’s mission, as its founders see it, is simple: to turn student stress into success. In this way the student of today becomes the professional of tomorrow.

Solving a National Medical Crisis

KOTC’s unique strategy for preparing students for the MCAT is helping it accept more applicants in its own way. It could take up to 10 years to train competent physicians, according to 2022 AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, in a Leadership Viewpoint column.

In its report released in June 2021, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projected that the US faces a shortfall of 37,800 physicians – and 124,000 within 12 years. Preventing “game over” for Doctor Optimistic.


Routledge-Jukes said that 60% of people who apply to medical school are not accepted. Applicants are three times more likely to attend medical school if they score above 510 on the MCAT, and it is the only part of the med school application that is standardized.

KOTC has an impressive success rate in helping applicants score high marks. The score range for the MCAT is 472 to 528 for the four-part written test. The scores of the four sections are added to form the total score. The midpoint is 500.

The KOTC development team is staffed by people who are intimately familiar with the MCAT testing process. To be hired, they must score in the 99th percentile.

expansion plans

The app developer also meets that standard, which makes sense from the app user’s point of view. Rutledge-Jucks took the MCAT and scored well “above the curve,” so she’s well-versed in its content. To start with, he handled most of the query silo and app building tasks himself.

Heather Rutledge-Jucks is the founder of King of the Curve
Heather Routledge-Jukes, Founder
king of curves

“I consider myself a tech founder in that sense as well. Not just tech on the content side, but tech on the development side,” he offered.

He built most of the early apps and taught himself app programming when the pandemic shut down. He started the KOTC project with the help of two co-founders and an angel investor. One of his primary jobs now, while still attending medical school, is leading the team.

Since earning more revenue by adding in-app features, he has been able to engage more workers. Once users are in the app, they can purchase customizations and additional upgrades.

His company’s staff fluctuates between two to 10 full-time and part-time employees, who either excel in the testing content areas or app building. This includes four interns, two content specialists and two developers.

“We are definitely expanding the team as we grow. Right now, we are about to open an investment round to expand the team even further,” said Rutledge-Jukes.

Test Prep Course Inventory

KOTC’s learning lineup now offers test prep apps for a range of professional entrance exams, with more updates to come. Staff includes students and researchers in each test preparation area. They maintain high level content.

The primary course list includes the Medical School Entrance Examination for Nursing Examination (NCLEX), the Physician Assistant College Admission Test (PA-CAT) and the Registered Dietitian Examination (RDE) for the Master’s Examination.


According to Rutledge-Jukes, the company plans to expand into two other high-pressure academic test preparation areas: the LSAT for law school candidates and the Bachelor of Accounting (BACC) entrance exam.

To provide a more all-inclusive option for future users, the company plans to expand its existing website as a home base for online learning, apart from offering Test Prep through a mobile app. Yes, Rutledge-Jukes agreed.

Apps are now available for Android, iPhone and iPad devices. However, some are not available on all three platforms.

for established medical professionals

The ongoing purpose of KOTC is to help students and entry-level health care professionals enhance their knowledge. It is now also catering to the needs of already established practitioners. These other app categories address a much broader range of content and target specific business areas that are mostly medical-related.

For example, current procedural terminology (CPT) aims to improve the patient experience with medical providers at the bedside. A team of pre-medical students devised their intuitive technique to limit barriers for patients in discussing the finances involved in important medical decisions.

One of the latest is the Rutledge-Jukes Telecatalyst, due to be introduced in March 2022. This app specifically caters to the needs of medical personnel in Tanzania who require a data collection and telehealth app.

Regenerative Pain and Spine App is also under development for medical support. Anesthetists will use it to generate reports about their patients to record blood pressure, machine checks and patient information during surgery.

Simplify the process with deep learning

According to the developer, med school candidates have few options besides taking industry-standard tests or paying the higher tuition associated with hiring tutors.

“We have designed our app to promote a sports and social element as all these students are going through the same process. As soon as they move on, they should be in the same team,” Rutledge-Juks said.

Some 7,000 questions built into this all-in-one MCAT study game are divided into six categories: biology, biochemistry, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and behavioral science.

“We basically leave all the questions up to the user in the beginning. We’re able to provide people with the product if they can’t subscribe at all. They can still use it and still prepare effectively.” Huh.’


But the add-on lets students maximize their effectiveness by zeroing in on specific parts of the test, he said. The app recommends videos to watch and points students to particular parts of the study guide based on the accuracy of the answers.

Another benefit of KOTC is the comment section on individual questions where people can explain their rationale. Test Prep challenges students to compare section-by-section scores to other users as they go through the program.

“This is an oversimplification, but we also have monthly competitions between schools. For example, every March, we mimic March Madness, but we do it with schools across the United States, and their users compete with theirs. Will improve,” the developer explained.

covering all bases

KOTC is built on a holistic picture of edtech, including elements from adaptive learning fields. Competency based education is also an important element.

“I think competency-based learning is the future of education,” Rutledge-Jucks said. “Once you have the foundation, it hits these checkboxes.”

King of the Curve is available on Google Play and the App Store.

Software developers should be thrilled with the potential this year. The introduction of modern tools, innovations, and frameworks will provide opportunities for greater efficiency and more fun as a programmer in 2023.

Yoav Abrahami, chief architect at Wix Code and head of Velo, discussed with TechNewsWorld why he sees such great potential for 2023.

“I see the best year yet but can’t guarantee there won’t be better years ahead,” he said. “I think a lot of exciting things are changing in the world in the way we code.”

To that end, Abrahami credits a few things for coming together. There has been a long-standing trend of moving to major platforms that continues in full force. Another innovation is taking place by including designers as part of the developer team. He said that it is important to bridge the gap between the designer and the developer.

6 developer predictions for 2023

Looking ahead through his software developer eyes, Abraham sees a great year to be a developer. Here are his six predictions for what to expect:

  1. Developers will be able to tackle more complex projects at scale.
  2. Collaboration between developers and designers will be more effective and inspiring.
  3. The cloud platform and low-code tools will integrate, introducing a range of new products including websites, web apps and mobile apps.
  4. The move to more managed environments will continue, offering new and better-managed services.
  5. AI will clean up the code and free up developers for more creative work.
  6. Dev talent will be more decentralized than ever, which translates into greater diversity and wider-reaching end products.

If predictions have a compelling force Why? And how Read on for Abrahami’s in-depth explanations of his vision for you, the developer community.

DevOps closes the gap

This history of the developer community is marked by ongoing friction between “systems people” and software developers. Too often developers shipped software that failed to meet expectations, and then it was the system people’s job to make it work, which led to more friction.

“We resolved that friction by introducing the idea of ​​DevOps. This shifted the responsibility for failure due to system changes back to the developers becoming a team,” observed Abrahami.


He suggested that another approach that is helping to foster better opportunities for developers is to keep both elements within the same working environment. His company follows this method of team building for software development.

Wix’s solution: let the designer take responsibility for the design and create a team that includes both a designer and a developer. Everyone involved gets the same equipment.

“In the same environment, the designer designs the UI, and the developers write the code to work with the UI. The reality is that 99.9% of teams will opt for more modern tools, as happened with DevOps – and this revolution It is happening now, and we see that simply because projects are being sent at a velocity that we never imagined. It is so amazing to see,” he said.

Digging Deeper into the Developer Environment

With this Q&A my conversation with Yoav Abrahami continues.

TechNewsWorld: What makes it possible for devs to tackle more complex projects at scale?

Yoav Abrahami: No one brought into the team is opposed to developers and designers working together. This means you can work much faster and be more productive. But more than that, we will continue to move towards more managed environments. This means that you are going to be much more efficient in terms of all your software.

Yoav Abrahami
Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect and Head of Velo at Wix Code

What’s changing in the developer community?

Abrahami: You must remember what managed software really is. It’s always a trade off. You’re trading your freedom to choose, such as which service works right now.

Years ago, you would be working on your own machines, and you would choose your OS. Today you don’t even do that. Years ago, you would build servers and try to figure out which framework to use. Today, you can use multiple lists, and you don’t really care what’s happening below them.

Looking at what we have today, we are taking another step forward. You don’t even choose your front-end framework. We provide you an out-of-the-box solution where your ID, development environment, database, back end and front end all work together.

How widespread is this innovation? Is Wix in the minority with these viewpoints?

Abrahami: We are not the only ones doing this. This is happening across the industry. You can see more and more solutions with online development environments with zero configuration of the platform required.

To understand what I’m talking about, consider how long it would take to build a call center where thousands of volunteers can sign in, go through the process of verifying who they are, and then Be able to call people to ask if they need help with medicine or food or anything during covid. It will probably take months, even two years, to become normal.

We made one in two weeks. Within a month, we had 700 volunteers using that system. It used Twilio for telephony, a ready-made solution available for the UI for two separate applications. That’s where we’re moving very quickly.

I would say that if today you are struggling to make products for months, then you are doing something wrong.

How much of an impact is using cloud platforms and low-code/no-code tools?

Abrahami: The idea of ​​low-code is to make it very fast in the context of what you’re building. You don’t need to write all the code and bring it to the main platform. You just add a little bit, a few lines of code here and there – and we have a solution.


But then again, even less code can fail when you want to do something, like comparing 600 steps of coding, and you want to change something. How do you test this? How do you test that change? How do you know the effect? How do you see the changes between one version and another?

How does artificial intelligence factor into what’s happening now within the dev community?

Abrahami: To be honest, no one knows. But we know it’s going to disrupt everything. This is the reality.

Let’s say you ask the best AI to write code for you, and that code is a piece of software to drive your train. Who do you blame when a train crashes due to a bug? Is it AI’s fault? Is it the AI ​​vendor’s fault? Is it the fault of the person who wrote the code with the bug the AI ​​trained?

All of those questions lead to one big issue: How will it work? We don’t know! But we do recognize that AI coding has potential.

Do you have hope for AI as a benevolent tool for developers?

Abrahami: I see huge potential in AI. We look at quality, and quality has two things we don’t know how to measure. We don’t know how to measure usability, and we don’t know how to measure correctness. Now, AI may be able to give us the answer there, and I may be able to create an AI that will give me that.

Where do you see all this potential heading?

Abrahami: Think utility for Application Programming Interface (API). This is much easier to do than to measure whether it can attempt to write code that solves your next big problem. Now, this is just one example. Another example you can think of involves AI.

When should I increase, or when should I decrease? When should I do failover? When should I stop a service because it causes problems for other services? And so on.

Maybe all those things can be automated using AI. Automating can prevent shipping faulty software through early bug detection. So many possibilities exist. There are a lot of things we can do with AI today to change the way we work as developers. The things we trust about AI, like the tools to help you do what you’re doing.

Another example is semantic search. Too often, you move into a category, especially in larger organizations. You’re pretty sure someone in the company has done what you’re looking for, but you don’t know how to find it because you lack the exact syntax.