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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:3524-8. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6090585.

The design and development of a production prototype balance belt.

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Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


This paper discusses the development of a balance device from lab to clinic/home use. An emerging practice among physical therapists in balance training and falls prevention addresses a major health problem in the United States: imbalance and its consequences. The annual cost for treating balance disorders exceeds $1 billion, not including the cost to treat falls. We aim to develop a non-invasive device worn around the waist. It detects when a person is tipping too far in any direction and vibrates on that side, signaling the wearer to stay within their limits of stability. Because this new technology gets a patient to a higher level of function in a shorter number of trials, it offers an opportunity to advance rehabilitation by enabling more effective outcomes for the same number of treatment sessions.

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