Shepherd Center, an Atlanta-based not-for-profit hospital, and rehabilitation center release a new app called SCI-Ex, aiming to help people living with spinal injury reintroduce exercise into their lives.

The app uses detailed videos to demonstrate exercises for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in four categories of exercises:

  • strength training
  • cardiovascular
  • neuromuscular
  • flexibility and balance.

SCI-Ex is easy-to-use and allows users to select exercises based on their injury level. Users are also able to set goals and track progress. The app, designed in collaboration with MobileSmith, can be used by people with SCI, their family, caretakers, and physical therapists.

Developed in the hospital, it enables patients to develop a rehabilitation plan that they can use at home or in a gym.

“There is some information online and still photos of exercises, but until now, there have not been any user-friendly, in-depth videos of exercises for people with spinal cord injury,” said Nicholas Evans, one of the leading training specialists at Shepherd Center. “SCI-Ex doesn’t just present exercises, but incorporates the proper techniques to use assistive devices, suitable transferring methods, and how to manage those methods and devices in a facility.”

Joe Bailey Driving Injury SCI-Ex

SCI-Ex is for spinal cord injuries between C-3 and T-12 vertebrae and allows users to target specific muscle groups, or work on improving overall physical stamina. It’s still in a pilot testing phase and seeks feedback from users.

Jennifer Rewkowski, director of program management at Metro Atlanta YMCA, helped with initial testing of the app:

I found the app easy to navigate and full of information. Everything our YMCA wellness coach will need is right at their fingertips!

The app provides those with CSI and caregiver with step-by-step videos targeted towards the users and is easy to interpret.

The development stage is unique in offering a free source of knowledge to the SCI community. MobileSmith, a Raleigh N.C. firm, worked to ensure a simple layout with minimal effort required to navigate the content.

“The app uses a clean, one-page design instead of layered menus – meaning all the features are within a few taps, and minimal effort is required to navigate to the content,” said Tony Orsa, user interface and product specialist at MobileSmith.

SCI-Ex is free and available on both Apple and Andriod devices – search Shepherd Center in the search box to find it.

Development of SCI-Ex was funded by the Shepherd Center Foundation and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Brothers Young Productions filmed the videos.

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