GyroStim Science & Technology
Many uncontrollable factors may compromise the desired outcome of [manual] vestibular rehabilitation strategies, including incorrect and inconsistent execution of exercises and the necessity of active effort, interest, and capabilities of the patient (Bergeron et al., 2015).
The current SOC for treating balance disorders typically involves in-clinic and at-home exercises and strategies that often include the use of balance boards, exercise balls, platform swings, tai chi, and other forms of active effort of the patient (Ostrowski & Login, 2015; MacDowell, Farrell & D’Silva, n.d.). It is widely accepted that these manual strategies are effective for challenging and improving balance; however, these strategies have inherent undesirable, uncontrollable, and unavoidable variables that limit efficacy. It is difficult, if not impossible, to replicate or control the intensity of stimulation and challenge of therapy, or to accurately measure and control the level of active effort of the patient (Maier, 2019). More importantly, in many cases these devices and exercise strategies may not be safe, appropriate, or even possible for millions of non-ambulatory or low-functioning senior citizens to engage in, leaving this population without access to balance treatment.
GyroStim overcomes these challenges and limitations through automation. Automation effectively harnesses motion, which is one of the most important, yet most difficult components of balance treatment to control.
Patients are comfortably secured within the safety of the reinforced rotational chair during all treatments, eliminating the risk of injury from falling. Automation removes the variables associated with manual balance treatment strategies. Automation provides quantifiable control of intensity of treatment, precise replication of treatment protocols, and significant improvements to many aspects of safety and accessibility.
Automation of GyroStim’s multi-axis rotational chair is controlled via a dedicated user interface computer with operational software. The clinician selects a specific motion profile which is executed by motors controlling motion in the pitch and yaw rotational axes. Automation allows for integration with fail-safe software and hardware interlock systems which provide significantly improved control and safety for both the patient and the clinician that is simply not possible with current VRT practices.
Automation provides precise control of motion parameters which allows clinicians to design treatment strategies with a high degree of specificity, accuracy, replication, and safety. Control of each motion parameter is achieved with automation, including single-axis or multi-axis rotation, acceleration and deceleration rate, direction of motion, duration of motion, and the velocity of motion.
Automation of motion parameters offers clinicians a means for precise control and replication of the intensity of stimulation in each step of treatment, something which is essentially impossible with the existing SOC (Maier, 2019).
Automation creates a safe and secure environment for all patients, including those with physical and cognitive limitations, to engage in and experience motion-based balance treatment strategies with higher intensity and longer duration than may be possible under their own power. Automation affords patients the confidence and freedom to engage in balance treatment strategies without the limitations of endurance and fatigue, and without the risk and fear of falling (Novotny, 2019, Schoene et al., 2019). Automation allows clinicians to apply balance treatment strategies with higher frequency, intensity, and duration than is possible with the current VRT for the treatment of balance disorders.