Mobile App Developed by Cerebral Palsy Experts Wins National Award

Mobile App Developed by Cerebral Palsy Experts Wins National Award

Pediatric orthopedic surgeons at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California have developed a mobile app called HipScreen to detect hip disorders early in children with cerebral palsy (CP), through the hands of physicians and parents worldwide.

Hip development problems are a risk for one in three children with cerebral palsy. A hip surveillance program, including a regular schedule of examinations and x-rays, can preserve a child’s function and reduce pain. HipScreen guides users through the surveillance process with educational materials and assessment tools to promote early detection.

“Hip surveillance has a long track record of success in Europe and Australia where centralized medicine has allowed for close study of the population of children with cerebral palsy. The application of these proven hip surveillance programs in a global medical context will require innovation,” Vedant Kulkarni, PhD, who led the development of HipScreen, said in a press release.

The app provides patients and families with a resource to better understand and use hip surveillance guidelines. Features of the app include:

  • Educational material on evidence for hip surveillance – radiologic and clinical evaluation, as well as clinical protocols;
  • Evidence-based guidelines on frequency of clinical examination and x-rays;
  • Easy-to-use tools for measuring x-rays on your own device, while maintaining patient privacy.

“By 2020, it is estimated that 70 percent of the world’s population will have smartphone access and that 90 percent of the globe will have access to high-speed data networks. The development of this app utilized this growing technological trend to educate and empower providers and families to understand and implement hip surveillance guidelines,” Kulkarni said.

Kulkarni was awarded the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine’s (AACPDM) Mac Keith Press Promising Career Award for his scientific presentation validating the accuracy of HipScreen’s x-ray assessment feature.

Kulkarni has dedicated his career to the treatment of children with all types of orthopedic conditions and injuries. He has a particular interest in neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy, and is part of the Cerebral Palsy Center of Excellence at the Northern California Shriners Hospital, where he worked with Dr. Jon R. Davids, the program director, with whom he developed HipScreen.

AACPDM awarded HipScreen its Fred P. Sage Award in September 2015 at the academy’s annual meeting in Hollywood, Florida. The award honors outstanding clinical research and educational material in electronic formats. Kulkarni was at AACPDM’s annual meeting to accept the award.

HipScreen is now available for download to Apple iOS devices and will soon be available for Android platforms.