Providing real-time biofeedback during rehabilitation is essential for patients and clinicians. While audio and visual biofeedback are inherent to the Biodex Balance System™ SD and portable BioSway™, the optional VibroTactile System offers an additional form of sensory feedback to help detect changes in postural sway. Using wireless technology, the tactile belt responds with a vibrating sensation when the patient sways outside the therapist-set parameters.
Vibrotactile cueing adds sensory enrichment to therapy tasks
Real-time biofeedback is an important component of balance rehabilitation. Typically therapists cue patients with a tap or verbal command. Vibrotactile cueing enhances the therapy process by adding a mechanized, reproducible sense and objective feedback.
Vibrotactile feedback directly engages the motor learning system, reinforcing brain plasticity aiding to improve postural control, essentially reducing falls.
Especially suited for evaluation and treatment of vestibular disorders, vibrotactile cueing allows patients to safely receive positional feedback with their eyes closed.
Patients with vestibular challenges are overly dependent on visual and somatosensory systems. To bring a greater focus to the vestibular system during balance training, the visual sense needs to be eliminated. The VibroTactile System is an ideal means to provide balance feedback with eyes closed.
Vestibular therapy includes balance retraining exercises which, when coupled with vibrotactile feedback as one of the interventions provided by physical therapists, has been shown to improve postural control.
The principle behind the technology
Research and clinical experience demonstrate that the vibrotactile cues correcting postural sway in one situation can be transferred to other types of situations. Vibrotactile cueing fosters adaptation to new, correct information.
The origin for this specific technology is from the military, to enhance spatial awareness for jet pilots, with sensors embedded into their flight suits. Since then, the technology has been adapted to balance rehabilitation with excellent results.