Balancing Device Video

This health video focuses on the advancements to help people's balance.
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Jennifer Matthews: Seven years ago, Fred Kawabata suffered a rare viral infection that attacked the balance system in his inner ear. Fred Kawabata: Sometimes, I find that if I'm not paying attention, I run into doorways because I'm not walking straight. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Fred is testing this new feedback device that gives him audio cues. Dr. Marco Dozza: This tone, which is really low in volume, tells us that the subject is in a really stable position. Jennifer Matthews: Different tones and intensities tell Fred if he's leaning forward, backward or sideways, much like a carpenter's level. Dr. Marco Dozza: That sound is able to make Fred aware of this possibility of fall and is able also to tell Fred what to do in order to prevent the fall. Dr. Fay B. Horak: He's just trying to keep the tone as quiet as it can be and right in a middle tone so not too high and not too low. Jennifer Matthews: Infrared light from cameras reflect off the balls and provide more data to help researchers analyze movement. Fred Kawabata: In the last test, it felt quite good. I felt stable and comfortable and more confident than in the beginning. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Horak says the device helps people like Fred rely more on other senses for balance, like touch. Dr. Fay Horak: Well, what we don't know yet is whether you can use it for just a short period of time and then have long-term benefits. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Fred focuses on balancing more important things, like time with his wife. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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