A Toolkit for Assessing Balance and Mobility

Point-of-care worker helps person in wheel chair perform leg movements.

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Shirley Fenton, Research Associate

Project Title: Toolkit for Assessing Human Balance and Mobility

What is the issue?

Balance is important for avoiding falls and injury and maintaining independence. Current equipment fotesting balance and mobility costs over $20,000. It also requires training to operate. Most healthcare professionals in clinics and long-term care homes provide balance testing using timed tests and observationThese methods are not precise enough to detect important changes. 

What did we do?

We created the Balance Toolkit for testing balance and mobility. It is easy for healthcare professionals to use in any setting and costs less than $3,000. The toolkit uses a tablet and wearable technologies to capture movement dataNine physiotherapists working at rehabilitation clinics at two community hospitalused the toolkit to test patients with mobility issues.  

What did we find?

The toolkit provided accurate measurementsThe low cost and ease of use mean that it can be used in a wide variety of healthcare settingsMore older adults with balance issues could be evaluated in the future.