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 for testing 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 observation. These 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 data. Nine physiotherapists working at rehabilitation clinics at two community hospitals used the toolkit to test patients with mobility issues.
What did we find?
The toolkit provided accurate measurements. The low cost and ease of use mean that it can be used in a wide variety of healthcare settings. More older adults with balance issues could be evaluated in the future.