It is easy to take balance for granted. Our sense of equilibrium, also called equilibrioception[i], is the physiological sense we need to stand and walk without falling over. Our eyes work with our ears and our body’s sense of where we are in space compared to other objects. Loss of balance, due to a failure in our balance systems can be rather upsetting and stressful. Balance functioning can be impaired by traumatic brain injury. Concussions are serious injuries because the upset to the balance systems can lead to more serious injuries when an individual cannot control their balance to walk, run or stand correctly.
Professional football players, college athletes and orthopedic surgery patients are more frequently treated with a new technology designed to measure an individual’s balance. The tool known as Equilibrate is made by a New York company, Balance Engineering. Since 2009, Equilibrate has been used to evaluate military combat personnel and elderly patients with falling risks. Balance Engineering chairman and co-founder, Jack Shickler, states “Balance indicates everything about what’s going on in your body.[ii]”
Healthcare professionals for a wide variety of purposes use Balance testing tools.
The Equilibrate software was an initial concept that Shickler thought would be useful for his daughter who owns a dance studio. If you were able to test an individual’s sense of balance, you might be better able to predict who would be a better candidate for dance instruction. The ideas for other uses quickly spread. Now competitive athletes and their trainers can better rely on Equilibrate testing to better judge a player’s balance and safety before deciding to allow them to return to practice or play after a concussion.
Hospitals are using this balance measuring software from coast to coast. According to Balance Engineering, the Equilibrate system meets evidence-based preventative medicine needs to correctly assess and treat patients with balance issues. Watch this promotional video to see more!
Significant money, time and effort is invested in the growth of the Equilibrate systems for balance.
Equilibrate’s parent, Balance Engineering, has invested more than $1M in its product. Based in New York State, the company sought to join the Albany Medical Center’s incubator program; “The incubator at Albany Med is among several accelerators in the region that are aiming to tie research to commercialization and create a regional support system for entrepreneurs.[iii]”
With dedicated investors and an infrastructure to foster further awareness and application of the Equilibrate system for balance measuring, we are likely to see more industries using the software tool to better treat and monitor football players, dancers, military troops, injured people and our elderly patients.
Michael V. Favia & Associates works with injured people who suffer from concussion symptoms due to a variety of sources, from accidental falls to sports injuries. To learn more about the risks involved with traumatic brain injury and how the law protects injured parties, please be in touch. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a meeting with an attorney at your convenience. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, please visit the firm’s website and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter.
[ii] Albany Business Review, Startup focuses on patients with concussions, balance issues, by Chelsea Diana, Jun. 29, 2015.