We are creating a massive open online video course to connect SCI patients to community, educate them on independence skills, and empower them to share what they learn with the world. Patients will understand what they need to learn to maximize independence and to find mentors, adaptive recreation, medical suppliers, and existing support programs in their community. Improved independence and community reintegration of patients leads to employment and reduced costs 73% of SCI survivors in US remain unemployed 10 years after injury, costing over $1 million in the first year and $50,000 $200,000 each year thereafter (NSCISC 2018). Regardless of experience with SCI, therapists will better understand the perspective of their patients, arrange for peer mentor visits, and communicate therapy goals, mobility strategies, and community resources to patients and caregivers. Physical & Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and medical students will understand the diversity within SCI populations and
We do this regionally by recording stories of peer mentors of every SCI type from adaptive sports teams, editing their demonstration videos of 16 activities of independent living, and distributing this to SCI treating hospitals as a patient education course. Demonstrations related to bed mobility, sitting, transfers, wheelchair skills, standing, and walking are accompanied by a therapist analysis video that breaks down each activity and explains key muscles, precautions, and progression strategies. As SCI viewers learn new skills, they can become mentors too and submit their own demonstrations. A crowdsourced global resource map in the course allows mentors, medical professionals, advocacy and recreation groups, foundations, and medical companies to recommend community resources to the newly injured.
Our services are unique in that we are connecting course users to all available regional resources that they otherwise may not find. Our competitors Spinalpedia, AbleThrive, United Spinal, SCIU, and others may provide mentoring, demonstration videos, community support, and patient education, but they fail to have a global strategy for reaching the majority and most isolated of SCI patients. We provide video production assistance for community members and patients to become peer mentors and share their experiences. We incorporate physical and occupational therapy insight alongside regionally specific mentor demonstrations to facilitate patient education in any context. We structure peer mentor and therapy independence strategies in a course that patients can easily follow and contribute to with their own insight. Moreover, while our course is online, it can easily be downloaded and transferred via USB, DVD, CD, or smartphone to any patient or provider.
Patient users can demonstrate their progress towards independence using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) tool intermittently, and by submitting their own skill videos. Quarterly surveys of participants measure the degree of community reintegration, which will also help us to identify and address local barriers through partnered organizations. Student and therapist user surveys will track degrees of raised awareness and confidence in treating SCI. Success is impacting every country.
We are completing a pilot course for 1 injury type and have 20 mentors in the US, 1 in India, 1 in Colombia, with predicted yearly growth of 120+ mentors. In 2019, we will include analysis videos for more SCI types, with PT & OT professors from Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart University as curriculum editors and their students as reviewers. We will solicit sponsorships from local and national medical companies looking to reach patients, and from insurance companies to reduce regional SCI costs. By the end of 2020, we hope to run a full course pilot with the Spaulding New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (SNERSCIC) with sites in CT and MA. As a SCI Model System, SNERSCIC will help us swiftly expand our national reach among hospitals, as well as acquire medical company sponsors interested in emerging markets in India, Colombia, and other countries.