Students Explore Medical Careers with Help of Local Tech Startup

(1888PressRelease) – Idaho company helps students explore possibly medical careers through technology solution.

Boise, Idaho – Liiingo, a technology startup based in Boise, Idaho, received a $215,000 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to develop a game-based learning experience to help middle and high school students explore career options in healthcare. In the game, Upward Knowbility, students’ interests are aligned with healthcare careers, are provided with general career information, explore a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-style simulation of a workday of the healthcare professional selected, and presented with next steps to continue to learn more about the profession. The game is designed to be used in classrooms and by counselors. Teachers are provided with a lesson plan for either middle school or high school students to support Upward Knowbility exploration within a 45 minute class period. Liiingo is piloting the software in classrooms throughout the Boise and West Ada School Districts in March and April.

As part of the development of Upward Knowbility, a Product Advisory Board (PAB) was engaged to help produce a meaningful game. PAB participants from Boise State University, Idaho Stem Action Center, St. Alphonsus, and teachers have guided the technology to represent popular options ranging from dentists and surgeons to physical therapists and emergency medical technicians. Content is provided in both English and Spanish using Liiingo’s patented technology in a seamless way to students.

“We really wanted this technology to appeal to students, so we’ve contracted 2 Birds, a local after-school program, to record interviews with local medical professionals that resonate with youth. Because of the pandemic, interest in healthcare careers is increasing, and it is important that we connect people in younger generations to proper training,” says Andrea Sorensen, founder and CEO of Liiingo.

From April 2019 to April 2020, health employment fell by 8.2% (from 16.2 million to 14.9 million). According to Health and Human Services, close to half of RNs were over 50, and nearly half (44 percent) of physicians were 55 or older in 2019. Compared with the US labor force as a whole, only 24 percent were 55 or older. Having a provider population that reflects racial and ethnic composition matching patients helps to provide culturally congruent care, which contributes to improving the patient experience.

To further this aim, Liiingo has chosen to provide content in both English and Spanish to help provide access. Sorensen continues, “Liiingo’s has three i’s in it that stand for inclusivity, insight, and intuitive. Our goal is to connect people to information they want in a way they understand so they can make informed decisions. This includes serving the 20 plus percentage of people who don’t speak English at home.”

While the current grant highlights 12 popular career choices, Liiingo plans to expand available choices into the future and add additional languages through applying for a Phase II grant.

Liiingo is a woman-founded company founded in 2017 in Boise, Idaho. Built on the premise that companies can do better providing information to customers in the moment of curiosity in their own language, Liiingo’s patented solution aims to guide customers from a physical space into the correct digital space through connected packaging.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43GM146475. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

If you would like more information on Upward Knowbility or Liiingo, please contact Brittany Hansen at 208.907.0204 or visit



Processing your request, Please wait....

Leave a Reply