The Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge
Propose new tools to measure rehabilitation activities and their impact on function in individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Who Should Participate?
- Technology providers
- Individuals with lived experience
- Government/Public sector institutions
- Private sector organizations
- 1 grand prize of $100,000
- 2 additional prizes of $50,000
- Post-challenge: validation, scaling, and adoption-oriented activities
Click here for Contest Rules
What’s Happening Now?
- Status: The challenge is open for submissions
- Submissions close on June 11, 2020 at 11:59PM ET
Spinal cord injury (SCI) impacts multiple body systems and functions, and can contribute to decreased participation and quality of life. Following a spinal cord injury, many individuals seek rehabilitation to improve and restore body function and independence.
Typically, physical rehabilitation consists of a series of routine exercises prescribed by a clinician. The objective of rehabilitation is to improve function (e.g. physical, cardiovascular, respiratory, etc.) so individuals can participate in meaningful daily activities.
However, there is a lack of accessible technologies that track rehabilitation activities and their resulting impact on function. As a result, the relative effectiveness of both traditional and newly-developed physical rehabilitation methods (such as activity-based therapy) after spinal cord injury is difficult to evaluate.
What are the gaps in understanding?
Data gathering in the rehabilitation context is inconsistent due to the absence of solutions that can effectively track and monitor rehabilitation activities and their impact on the function of individuals with SCI. Measurements of function act as a yardstick with which to monitor physical improvements by tracking changes in ability throughout the rehab process. The use of measurements of function to monitor patient progress is not widespread and often requires time-intensive observation by clinicians, yielding sometimes incomplete data.
This problem has made linking specific rehabilitation activities to improvements in function difficult, and has resulted in little evidence on the effectiveness of various rehabilitation treatments and approaches. From an individual perspective, this may translate to people with SCI not receiving the best possible treatment for their injury. Even worse, without a solution to clearly connect rehabilitation and progress, individuals may lose motivation to pursue further treatment.
The Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge seeks to improve on the measurement of rehabilitation activities and their resulting impact on individuals with SCI. More specifically, this challenge asks innovators to:
1. Propose a solution to improve quantification of one or more of the following rehabilitation activities, specifically for individuals with SCI.
a) Bed/seated control activities
b) Standing control activities
c) Walking, stairs (inside and/or outside)
d) Gross motor upper extremity (shoulder; elbow)
e) Fine motor upper extremity (elbow; forearm; wrist; hand)
2. Demonstrate the solution’s ability to measure the impact of rehabilitation activities on function in individuals with SCI. This challenge focuses on areas that are important to persons with lived experience and existing gaps in research and practice. Innovators must provide at least one measurement of function that is automatically generated via their solution AND at least one patient reported measurement of function. Categories include:
a) Physical function – e.g. strength, mobility, time able to stand independently, distance walked in 2 minutes etc.
b) Cardiovascular function – e.g. heart rate, blood pressure
c) Respiratory function – e.g. vital capacity, rating of perceived exertion
d) Other – e.g. spasticity, pain, sexual function, bowel, bladder, quality of life
The Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge also requires:
- that proposed solutions are validated in collaboration with individuals with lived experience (which may also include family members and caregivers); and
- a detailed description of participants and activities being measured.
Innovators must to fully complete and submit the following:
For additional details on these requirements and resources available to support, please see the Challenge Overview Document.
The challenge winner(s) will have an opportunity to further validate their solution in an academic or clinical setting through the formation of strategic partnerships with subject-matter experts and key-end user segments.
Challenge Launch (14/11/2019)
Informational Webinar #1 (11/12/2019)
Informational Webinar #2 (22/01/2020)
Click here to register for the Webinar!
Informational Webinar #3 (01/02/2020)
Exact date TBD
Informational Webinar #4 (01/03/2020)
Exact date TBD
Informational Webinar #5 (01/04/2020)
Exact date TBD
Informational Webinar #6 (01/05/2020)
Exact date TBD
Informational Webinar #7 (01/06/2020)
Exact date TBD
Submission Deadline (11/06/2020)
Winners Announcement (30/07/2020)
You may only enter the Challenge if at the time of entry you meet all of the below requirements:
- The primary applicant must be a legal resident of Canada
- You are at least 18 years old or the age of majority in the province or territory where you reside
- You are not an employee of MaRS, or the Praxis Spinal Cord Institute, and you are not the immediate family member of any such employee
Both individual and team submissions are welcome.
If you are applying as a member of a team, note that only one submission is required. Please identify a primary contact person on your team when completing the submission form. We ask that all team members sign up for individual profiles on marschallenges.com. There is no limit to the number of people on a team.
The innovator will retain all intellectual property rights.
No. All submissions are kept private and no details are shared with other competitors.
Yes. While it is not required to include the raw data in your submission, each submitting individual/team must describe the rehabilitation activities and measurements of function that they chose to report on, how these measurements have been validated specifically for a person with a spinal cord injury, and a description of the individuals involved in this validation. This information must also be summarized in a video demonstrating your solution (a required component of your submission).
Yes. It is essential that each participant engage individuals with lived experience — and it is highly-encouraged to engage with clinicians as well as caregivers, and/or families — in order to ensure that the proposed solution meets their needs and can ultimately be implemented in practice. It is also essential that the data generated is validated with an individual with spinal cord injury.
Informational Webinar #2
Join our second informational webinar on January 22 from 12-1pm ET to learn more about the Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge and have your questions answered live. Reserve your spot for this webinar below:
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Informational Webinar #1
MaRS and Praxis Spinal Cord Institute are pleased to invite you to an informational webinar for the Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge — a $200K competition asking innovators to propose new tools to measure rehabilitation activities and their impact on function in individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Join us on December 11 to learn more about the Spinal Cord Rehab Innovation Challenge and hear tips on how to create a successful submission. Interested applicants can reserve their spot for the webinar below:
Hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact email@example.com