Heath Rutledge-Jukes Dominates the EdTech Space
As the world of technology grows and expands, every industry that relies upon tech can also grow and benefit. One of the fastest growing industries right now is educational technology, aka EdTech. EdTech refers to breakthrough technological implementations in classrooms, from primary school to college and beyond. It can include just about anything - updated computer systems and tablets, interactive whiteboards, online content delivery systems, and - you guessed it - apps.
Heath Rutledge-Jukes is a huge proponent of that last not-so-insignificant item. “Educational apps are taking off like never before,” he says. “The whole industry is growing, shifting, changing; and innovators and educators alike need to shift with it.”
The global educational technology market value was estimated at $106.46 billion USD in 2021, and is forecast to reach $127.0 billion in 2022. Within that, the global educational apps market share is expected to increase from $37,780 million USD in 2021 to $101,330 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 15% from 2022-2028.
Rutledge-Jukes shares that this increase is driven by multiple factors; first of all, apps are generally interactive, and - when designed well - can be entertaining as well, making learning fun and accessible. The ability to deliver educational materials remotely is a huge drive as well. As smart devices are more widely used in classrooms, educational apps will increase as well.
Educational tech has been a passion of Rutledge-Jukes’ for years. He is currently an incoming med student at Washington University in St. Lous, and is the cofounder of EdTech company King of the Curve. He is also a TEDx speaker, tutor, consultant, app developer, and medical scribe.
“I have a passion for harnessing the intersection of healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship to enhance patient prognosis,” says Rutledge-Jukes of his career focus. “I want to remove barriers from tomorrow’s professionals by creating accessible, engaging, and evolving content housed on multiple platforms, such as mobile apps.” He adds that his research has been aimed at the improvement of health outcomes as well as the reduction of disparities for marginalized groups.
“I had a challenging childhood myself,” he reveals. “So when I speak of marginalized groups, I’ve been there. I managed to lift myself out and get into college, as a pre-med student studying psychology with a focus on pedagogical design.” His hard work and passion for his education led to him earning a 522 on the MCAT, which is in the 99th percentile. His work was also published in numerous venues such as the Journal of Arthroplasty and the Global Health Catalyst Summit.
During his time at Florida Southern College, Rutledge-Jukes led a research team to investigate the differences of duloxetine and celecoxib in the treatment of osteoarthritis with special consideration of the WOMAC scale and its subscales. In addition, he served as a research assistant on multiple projects in topics such as learning, cognition, psychology, and law. He assisted with research trials, preparing conference posters, and running statistical analysis of research results.
He also worked as a PASS tutor at Florida Southern College, in areas including statistics, genetics, and organic chemistry. During this time Rutledge-Jukes also served as a teaching assistant from January 2019 to May 2020 in the area of behavioral neuroscience. He prepared study materials and quizzes and learned how to effectively lead and communicate with groups of students. He was also the editor of the class’s neuroscience website, strengthening his technical skills.
From that point, Rutledge-Jukes began to move into the EdTech space. While continuing to serve as a college tutor and a healthcare app developer, he saw a gaping need for technology that would help med students prepare to take the MCATs - and from that point, he developed a vision of fun and engaging mobile apps to help students of all kinds to study for exams and improve their study skills.
Thus King of the Curve was born. “I want to help other pre-medical students by sharing the tools and strategies that helped me succeed,” says Rutledge-Jukes. “Our company wants to shift the needle of the test prep industry from the current model which consists of boring, isolating, and expensive content to material that is engaging to students and that doesn't break the bank. We want to make scholastic success a more equitable endeavor.”
King of the Curve (KOTC) is a novel app that has now helped over 10,000 students get accepted to medical schools across the country. KOTC has since added other exams to its mobile app suite, including the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), the Physician Associate College Admissions Test, and the Registered Dietitian Exam.
King of the Curve has a variety of questions from all sections of these exams. Students are able to challenge their friends and test their skills with engaging, fun, and free study games or try to beat their scores in single-player mode. “Our goal is to eliminate the stress that comes with rigorous standardized exams,” Rutledge-Jukes explains. “The apps leverage a captivating modality backed by pedagogical research and customized ML algorithms that adapt to the student.”
He and his team plan to expand KOTC into over 150 standardized examinations worldwide. To date, it has garnered over 100,000 downloads across the suite. KOTC has been featured in Apple’s Top 50 educational apps and was also featured in a TEDx talk given by Rutledge-Jukes. “We have developed a mobile app that is fully accessible to all students, no matter the size of their wallet,” he says. “We're here to transform student stress into student success so that the student of today becomes the professional of tomorrow.”