Hadley and Delaney Robertson, twin sisters, developed the BraceTrack app to assist individuals who wear scoliosis braces.
The Miami twins, 15, were diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 12 at their January 2018 yearly exam. According to the AANS, scoliosis affects between 3% and 5% of the population in the United States or about 6 to 9 million individuals. It may begin as early as childhood but usually manifests between the ages of 10 and 15.
Hadley said on Good Morning America that While Delaney’s scoliosis did not need treatment, Hadley, one of the twin sisters, was reported to have idiopathic scoliosis and had a greater than 20-degree curvature in her spine. Doctors recommended an 18-hour-a-day back brace to halt the development.
Hadley, who discontinued bracing in the month of June 2020, said that wearing a brace may be challenging. She said that it’s constructed of hard plastic, which makes it uncomfortable to walk around daily and makes athletic activities more challenging.
Fortunately, if Hadley had to remove her brace for whatever reason, she would have to wear it for an additional hour or two the next day to compensate. The real challenge was not only to keep track of just her accrued hours but also her everyday use.
According to Hadley, one thing she struggled with was finding out how to monitor the time she wore it. She experimented with a variety of different materials. She says they believe they tried using a notebook, a whiteboard, and they even looked for an application on the google app store to get anything that might assist them in tracking it, but there wasn’t, so they decided to create one themselves.
The twin sisters, in the same year, started researching scoliosis and app development in order to determine which features would be most beneficial to individuals with the disease. While the girls had shown an interest in STEM before, they did not have any prior experience developing an app.
Delaney said she believes a frequent misunderstanding about this kind of stuff is that you have to know everything about an idea in order to engage with it. She said we didn’t know anything about app development, or even about scoliosis. We got right in and immediately began doing extensive investigation.