Good news for thousands of patients with loss of vestibular function. The BalanceBelt, which has been worked on for fifteen years, will be on the market next year. The tool will not only help to maintain balance but also give patients the confidence to participate in daily life again.
The BalanceBelt is invented by Herman Kingma, Professor in Vestibulology from Maastricht University, and an international authority in his field. One in five people have to deal with vestibular function loss, 25 percent of all 65+ have a poorly functioning vestibular. Use of the BalanceBelt helps this large group of patients to improve their quality of life. This motivated Professor Kingma to work fifteen years on technical perfection of his idea.
The BalanceBelt emits vibration signals when a patient threatens to get out of balance. The carrier of the belt automatically corrects the body posture. The results of clinical pilot studies in a hospital environment and in the home situation are very satisfactory.
Prof. dr. Kingma developed the BalanceBelt with engineers from Maastricht University. Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus – as a representative of Maastricht University and MUMC+ – transfers the license rights to the Utrecht based company Elitac BV, which specializes in so-called haptic wearables (technology that communicates with the user via movement or vibration). Patients should be provided with this tool via a referral from the physician. In consultation with health insurance companies, it remains to be determined whether the BalanceBelt will be fully or partially reimbursed.