Neilsen Foundation Projects

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Teaching Healthcare Providers to Facilitate Self-Management of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Recruitment: Invite Only


We have developed an interactive training program for students, trainees and licensed healthcare providers to improve the way that they interact with individuals with SCI and other disabilities.

With this project, we want to enhance the knowledge, attitude and confidence of healthcare providers to partner with individuals with SCI in managing their health. This will be done by developing and evaluating an e-learning course that combines disability competency training with education about how to integrate self-management assessment and skill development into clinical encounters. 


Using Low-Cost Sensing to Support Self-Management: An Initial Study

Recruitment: Invite Only


People living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) often need help learning and mastering the skills required to take care of themselves independently. Traditionally individuals with SCI have worked to develop these skills either alone or with the help of a trained clinical professional. Since working alone is not effective and working with a professional is too expensive, researchers have investigated computer-and smartphone-based tools that would support patient's ability to self-manage at less cost than face-to-face clinic visits.

In this project we are developing a particular type of smartphone-based self-management tool. This type of tool uses sensors (both on the phone and in the environment) to observe and track patients' self-management activities. Automatically tracking activities could help lower the burden on the user and allow the system to figure out which self-management activities ought to be recommended next. Activity tracking is becoming increasingly common in both research and commercial systems, yet little work has been done to adapt this technique to SCI populations. Our main objective is to investigate the potential of activity tracking for people with SCI.