The Sway Balance System is an FDA-cleared Class II technology used by many doctors and athletic trainers to conduct concussion assessments and make return-to play-decisions. We have added this powerful vestibular balance screening and monitoring tool to our brain health technologies toolbox in order to provide our patients with the best in comprehensive concussion care.
Sway Balance System for Concussions Explained
Developed by the mobile neurological assessment company Sway Medical, Sway Balance System can aid in concussion and TBI assessment and treatment. Balance screenings are administered through an app on a phone or tablet, either in the office, during a telemedicine appointment or remotely. Then a MAC Alliance concussion specialist reads and provides prompt data interpretation and treatment next-steps.
The Sway Balance exam should be done in a controlled environment and on a flat, hard surface to ensure test repeatability. And while not intended as a stand-alone diagnostic device, Sway Balance can be an important component in concussion assessments. “Sway contributes advanced balance testing to our practice, which we really rounds out our collection of technologies and gives us power combination of tools for the detection and monitoring of concussions and other TBIs,” says MAC-Cart developer and Mid-Atlantic Concussion Alliance Director Vincent Schaller, MD, DABFM, CIC, . “We have vestibular balance and infrared eye-tracking testing, neurocognative exams and EEG-measuring screening available to us right here.”
Are Balance Issues Common With Concussions?
According to the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), a national center funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about half of people with TBI have dizziness and loss of balance at some point in their recovery. Other research has reported that somewhere between 30 and 65% of people with TBIs experience balance problems, which can happen even while sitting. The balance issues that may be experienced can include dizziness (feeling weak or woozy), vertigo (the sensation that you or your surroundings are moving) and unsteadiness. You may also feel faint or lightheaded. Balance issues can be especially dangerous for older people.
Why Do Balance Problems Result from TBIs?
Several things can determine how bad post-brain-injury balance problems are. According to the MSKTC, these factors can include:
What part of the brain was injured
How severely the brain was injured
What other injuries were sustained along with the TBI (e.g. neck or spine injuries, broken ribs or legs, etc.)
Medications given that can effect balance
This Is How Sway Balance Testing Works
The company Sway Medical pioneered mobile balance testing by using mobile phones and tablets—devices most people already own. MAC Alliance offers Sway Balance testing through these devices for quick access anytime. The screenings can be don either while patients are in the office or remotely. The test measures stability using the built-in motion sensors of any mobile device or tablet, and Sway Balance quantifies postural sway. The data is collected while the device is pressed against the chest, and a proprietary motion analysis algorithm calculates stability. Sway then provides an easy-to-understand value on a point scale, with 100 being completely stable and 0 being unstable.
With Sway Balance, No bulky Force Platforms, Harnesses or Guessing at Errors Are Necessary
Sway Balance System is accurate and reliable mobile software. It has been repeatedly validated against force platform technology, the current gold standard for postural sway assessment. Sway was also better at differentiating between progressively more difficult balance conditions in third-party research studies. (Visit the Sway Medical research page for more information.)
Sway Balance Is Available on All MAC Brain Health Carts
MAC Alliance is a growing network of certified medical practitioners and athletic trainer affiliates. We also utilize additional brain monitoring tools for concussion diagnosis and treatment that include: BrainScope One EEG technology, ImPACT and Creyos Health neurocognitive testing, and RightEye and EyeGuide infrared eye-tracking technology.
Concussion testing can be promptly obtained at one of our partner locations in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.