In 2016, MiracleFeet received a 3-year, $1 million grant from Google.org to work on using healthcare technology innovation to creatively address four areas of clubfoot treatment in need of improvement:
- Mobile patient data collection
- SMS (text) communication with parents and guardians
- Tracking brace use compliance
- Creating eLearning modules for providers
This update will focus on area #3 and involves an exciting new project using the latest in tracking technology.
The single largest cause of clubfoot relapse in children is poor brace compliance during the 4-year bracing phase. Not only is brace wear often difficult for parents to manage and frustrating for wiggly children who want freedom of movement, but providers rely on self-reporting and anecdotal feedback to understand what can be done to improve the likelihood that children will wear the brace as recommended for the full span of treatment.
In an effort to gather data to improve the odds of brace compliance, MiracleFeet teamed up with IIT-Bombay to develop small sensors that were then inserted into the MiracleFeet and Steenbeek braces. The sensors send electronic data about how often and how long the brace is worn. The data collection started in early June 2017 and will run for a full year, concluding in June 2018.
The data will then go through an analysis phase that is expected to be completed by the end of December. Organizations who work in clubfoot care will then be able to use the data and study outcomes to decide if additional braces should be manufactured with sensors and if the sensor data can be integrated with the CAST treatment data collection application. Stay tuned to hear the results of this exciting study!