Principal Investigators:

Chris Hermann, PhD

Mark Holowka, MSPO, CPO

Russell McCrory, MSEE

Mike Schmitz, MD

Barbara Boyan, PhD

The Need:

Scoliosis is the lateral curvature of the spine in adolescents and if left untreated can progress to requiring surgical intervention. Scoliosis bracing is frequently used to delay the progression of the scoliosis to delay surgical intervention until the child reaches skeletal maturity. Unfortunately bracing is only effective in a small number of children (~30%) and brace failure is likely the result of improper use of the brace and/or poor compliance. Few patients wear their orthosis for the prescribed number of hours or sufficiently tighten their straps to ensure proper corrective brace force. Currently, no clinical tools are available to monitor and enforce these factors.

The Device:

The smartBrace is a scoliosis brace that provides feedback to the patient, parents, and doctors to guide patients toward proper usage and compliance. The smartBrace will track when the patient is wearing the brace, but also will indicate whether the brace is being worn correctly or if any adjustments to the brace are necessary. Through integration with current smartphone technologies, the collected data from the smartBrace can be relayed to clinicians to provide continuously updated information to give them a better understanding of the patient’s actual usage. Empowered with compliance information, parents and clinicians could then help intervene and reinforce proper brace usage.

How has APDC helped?

This project is funded by APDC. When the project joined the consortium the device was in the concept stage of development.


Progress of Device Development