Using a low-cost balance board and custom software, Goble's B-TrackS gives information on how much a person is swaying, which is an indicator of balance. The sway information is just as accurate as an expensive force plate and fully objective.
In fact, Goble will soon publish a study in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine that shows the validity of the BTrackS system. In this study, the current method of scoring balance for concussions and the BTrackS were compared and the BTrackS was clearly more accurate than even the most experienced trainer.
"There are athletes out there who are playing with concussions and not knowing it," Goble said. "We're taking the uncertainty out of the equation and giving hard data to quantify whether or not a concussion actually occurred."
The improved board works similarly to the current test athletes stand on the board and conduct a series of movements based on balance control. Instead of an athletic trainer determining how many "errors" occur, the board will measure how much athletes sway, and give objective data determining their condition.
"Anybody who runs the test will get the same number, and we can use these numbers and try and figure out what quantifies as a concussion," Goble said.
Put to the test
Goble and his team have recently invited SDSU's rugby team into the lab where researchers will administer tests on the players to get a baseline reading of their balance using the B-TrackS. If a player is later injured during the season, athletic trainers will repeat the test and compare scores to see if a significant drop-off in balance has occurred.
This fall, the SDSU men's soccer and women's water polo teams will also be testing the system.
Goble also hopes to one day use the technology to detect more than concussions. It has the potential to identify conditions c
|Contact: Beth Chee|
San Diego State University