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Spinal Cord Injury Management Hackathon

Working with Richard and Tom from the NHS alongisde Adam from IBM, we created iSpinal - a wheelchair mounted iPad application to allow unfamiliar users such as teachers to care for patients with spinal cord injuries. This won us first place in the Spinal Cord Injury Management Hackathon!

Managing Autonomic Dysreflexia is a complex task with multiple variables to control such as body temperature, fluid levels and blood pressure. This proves challenging for those familiar with the condition, let alone people who have never experienced it before. In this hackathon, the task was to allow teachers and carers in a nursery environment to succesfully manage and care for children with spinal cord injuries.


iSpinal collects data using the IBM Watson IoT platform from various sensors including temperature, humidty and heart rate sensors. This data is then analysed in Node-RED to identify possible trends, such as a change in condition. Proactive alerts are then issued via the iPad app, so that those in the near vicinity can be alerted to an action that needs completing. Live weather data is also used from The Weather Company, which provides an indication of suitable clothing choices due to the outside temperature.

festival of innovation

Since the Hackathon, our solution has been featured on CNBC, The Engineer and at the IBM Festival of Innovation (pictured) at the STFC Daresbury Laboratory. Highlights from the hackathon, including other solutions can be viewed here.


Runner and Computer Scientist. Born in Northumberland, a University of Sheffield graduate and currently developing software for IBM Emerging Technology.