When twin sisters Hadley and Delaney Robertson were diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) at age 12, they knew that the road ahead may be challenging. “Delaney’s curve did not require treatment, but since Hadley’s curve was greater than 20 degrees, our doctor prescribed a back brace for her that had to be worn 18 hours a day,” they said.
What’s more, Hadley could “bank” her extra time spent in the brace to use throughout the week. The girls and their parents soon discovered that tracking all this back brace time proved to be a real challenge. This ultimately started them down a path not only as tech entrepreneurs but also as philanthropists — all by the age of 15!
The BraceTrack App
The girls’ new challenge — accurately tracking and logging the amount of time that Hadley spent in her back brace — turned into a great opportunity for them. “We unsuccessfully tried using a whiteboard and a notepad and then searched for an app to help her keep an accurate record,” they said. “After not finding one, we decided to create an app for Hadley and other scoliosis patients. That’s how BraceTrack got started.”
The BraceTrack app allows patients to enter and track their time in the back brace each day and automatically applies banked hours to subsequent days. It also provides time-based graphs and charts so that users can identify trends, and it allows patients to share their data and reports with others, such as family members and health care providers. It has been available in the Apple app store since May 2019, and an Android version of the app is also available.
“The app is unique in that its functionality is entirely imagined around the needs of a scoliosis patient being treated with a brace,” said Hadley and Delaney. “As a result, our users engage with the app multiple times throughout their day.”
We searched for an app to help keep an accurate record. After not finding one, we decided to create an app for Hadley and other scoliosis patients. That’s how BraceTrack got started.
Brace for Impact
Having mastered the tech world at the age of 14, the girls also turned their attention to another important aspect of treating scoliosis — philanthropy. With their nonprofit organization, Brace for Impact, the girls help families buy scoliosis braces for kids and teens that might have difficulty affording all their needed treatments.
“The initiative started after we looked back and realized that Hadley had to have three braces made as she grew. The cost of a scoliosis brace can range from $3,000 to $10,000,” said Hadley and Delaney. “Since braces are custom-fitted and often replaced multiple times as the patient grows to skeletal maturity, the cost of treatment can become unaffordable if not fully covered by insurance.”
The girls raise funds for Brace for Impact through the scoliosis community, as well as with their BraceTrack app. Their efforts have been so successful that Brace for Impact donated $50,000 to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in early 2021 to help fund scoliosis treatments at the hospital.
Bright Futures Ahead
To date, Brace for Impact has donated more than $120,000 to local treatment centers, and they plan to continue their great philanthropic work well into the future. “We love that our app helps to support kids and teens during a process that can be difficult in many ways,” they said. “Having to constantly remember to write down your braced time or respond to questions about how long you’ve worn your brace can feel overwhelming and frustrating. We hope our app eases this process and makes the experience a little less stressful.”
To contribute, visit bracetrack.com/brace-for-impact and follow the links to the Community Foundation of Broward account.