MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Twin sisters Delaney and Hadley Robertson are busy young ladies who are about to start high school. They do just about everything together including hosting an educational travel and cooking show on public television.
Two years ago, during a routine physical Hadley received some difficult news.
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“I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis when I was 12. For that I had to wear a brace for 18 hours a day for two years,” Hadley recalls.
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine affecting six to nine million people a year. Wearing a special brace is a common way to correct it and avoid surgery. Patients have to wear it diligently, no matter how active their lifestyle.
At the time Hadley said they were “doing a lot of sports. One thing I was doing in particular, is synchronized swimming, that’s one thing where you really can’t wear a brace in the water.”
Keeping track of the necessary time wearing the brace proved most challenging.
“We tried using a notepad or a whiteboard but neither of them really worked. So we thought that they would be an app on the app store that could help us but there wasn’t, so we decided to develop one ourselves,” said Hadley.
The dynamic duo created the BraceTrack app, which is free in the app store.
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“We were just really were passionate about this project. We sort of jumped in doing research on scoliosis, we sort of designed the app, everything that we want to have, all the features. Say you want to go to the beach one day for a few hours, so you only want to wear it 14 hours, not 18, you can over time on another day and ‘bank up’ those hours,” Delaney explained.
In addition to logging the time, it creates reports that can be sent to family and physicians. It’s been deemed quite successful with a lot of users.
“I think we have over 500 users at this point,” said Hadley.
“We’ve been amazed by the replies that we’ve been getting,” she added.
Aware that bracing is expensive, the twins raised $50,000 to help patients receiving treatment at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital through their organization ‘Brace for Impact’.
The Robertson sisters say they are not done. They are working to improve the app by adding a sensor to track the time automatically.
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