Chasing Genius, Nat Geo

Nat Geo announces winner of ‘CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation’ challenge

21st Century Fox’s National Geographic and Sprint have announced neurological physical therapist Asha Gummadi as the winner of the “CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation” challenge. Asha, who is based in Philadelphia, will receive $25,000 to pursue her vision of helping doctors to provide virtual physical therapy in developing countries. This is National Geographic’s second CHASING GENIUS digital initiative, which aims to bring together a community of active, aspirational, socially conscious consumers who want to make a positive difference in the world.

The winning project is based on the development of a tele-rehabilitation platform called Therex Portal, which Asha hopes will help doctors prescribe virtual physical therapy to patients in developing countries where rehab centers and treatment aren’t readily available. The app demonstrates each exercise movement through detailed animations and delivers instructions in multiple languages.

Asha was inspired to create the smartphone app after she couldn’t effectively recommend exercises to her mother because of a language barrier, and after her grandfather’s experience living in a village where he couldn’t access rehab services after an amputation. "It is a great honor to be selected as the winner," she said. "I would like to thank every person who voted for me." Asha plans to use the prize money to further develop the app by adding multiple languages and voiceover instructions for exercises.

Since launching last spring, CHASING GENIUS has brought together a community of 35,000 members. This year’s challenge resonated across social, digital and broadcast media, generating more than 100 million impressions, 7 million content views and 229,000 social conversations.

Last year, four winners were selected for the inaugural CHASING GENIUS challenge.

To learn more about the CHASING GENIUS: Unlimited Innovation challenge, including the submission process and the council members who determined the 10 finalists, read National Geographic’s press release announcing Asha as this year’s winnerWatch Asha’s video submission on the CHASING GENIUS website.

CHASING GENIUS is inspired by National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series “Genius.” The second season, focusing on the life of Pablo Picasso, premieres April 24.