Validation of balance-quality assessment using a modified bathroom scale
The balance quality tester (BQT), based on a standard electronic bathroom scale has been developed in order to assess balance quality. The BQT includes automatic detection of the person to be tested by means of an infrared detector and bluetooth communication capability for remote assessment when linked to a long-distance communication device such as a mobile phone. The BQT was compared to a standard force plate for validity and agreement. The two most widely reported parameters in balance literature, the area of the centre of pressure (COP) displacement and the velocity of the COP displacement, were compared for 12 subjects, each of whom was tested on ten occasions on each of the 2 days. No significant differences were observed between the BQT and the force plate for either of the two parameters. In addition a high level of agreement was observed between both devices. The BQT is a valid device for remote assessment of balance quality, and could provide a useful tool for long-term monitoring of people with balance problems, particularly during home monitoring.