Balance problems are the most common reason for falls and decreased quality of life. However, balance control is based on many underlying complex systems that can be affected by disease and injury. It is important to evaluate the specific systems affected in each patient with a balance problem in order to develop effective treatments. However, current balance evaluation tests do not differentiate different types of balance problems.
Dr. Horak has developed a Balance Evaluation Systems Test (BESTest) for clinicians to differentiate balance into 6 underlying systems that may constrain balance: Biomechanical, Stability Limits, Postural Responses, Anticipatory Postural Adjustments, Sensory Orientation, and Dynamic Balance during Gait and Cognitive Effects. This unique evaluation tool is appropriate for any age and severity of ambulatory patients with Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebellar Ataxia, Vestibular Disorders, Neuropathy, Head Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Cognitive Deficits, and other balance disorders. The BESTest is a sensitive, quantitative balance assessment that will improve third party reimbursement by identifying subtle deficits and changes with therapy.
Dr. Horak is a professor of Neurology and Biomechanical Engineering at Oregon Health and Science University. She is director of the Balance Disorder's Laboratory with several NIH and Foundation grants focused on developing new balance assessment tools and balance rehabilitation for neurological patients. She has over 175 research publications and was awarded a prestigious Merit Award from NIH. Dr. Horak also was awarded the Mary McMillian Research Award from the APTA and Research Awards from the Neurology and Pediatric Sections of the APTA. She is past-president of the International Society of Posture and Gait Research, organizer of the Rehabilitation Social for the Society for Neuroscience, and editor/reviewer for many prestigious neuroscience and rehabilitation journals.
APDM INC's mission is to develop the highest quality and fully featured technologies for monitoring human movement with wearable sensors. Their vision is to provide complete solutions for assessment and monitoring of people with movement disorders that will optimize therapy, accelerate clinical trials, and improve quality of life.
APDM's wearable movement monitors are about the size of a watch. They use the latest solid state MEMS technology to precisely record movement with a complete kinematic sensors suite that include triaxial accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. APDM's sensors are the longest lasting in the industry, holding a charge over 16 hours while continuously logging at 128Hz.
In the medical field, these IMUs are ideal for monitoring human movement for clinical research, biomechanical research, physical therapy research, movement disorders research, and athletic tuning. In the industrial or other fields, the movement monitors are a valuable diagnostic and research tool for industrial vibration or movement monitoring, inertial guidance, virtual reality, or any application where precise monitoring of subtle movement is required.