Birmingham-based Program for Improving Elderly Balance Launches


Birmingham-based Safe Balance has launched its first program, a system that can be used in assisted living and independent living communities to pinpoint the severity of an elderly person’s balance problems.

The Safe Balance program uses a patented Dynamic Arc device that allows the company’s physical or occupational therapists to perform balance tests in about 15 minutes. Once the test is complete, therapists can make patient recommendations that include participation in a community wellness program, working with a physical therapist, referral to a physician for continued analysis, and environmental modifications.

“Safe Balance is revolutionary in terms of the many ways it can prolong independence for the elderly and create peace of mind for them and their loved ones,” says Nathan Barnett, an Oakland County occupational therapist who developed the program. “An unexpected fall can have catastrophic consequences. Safe Balance plays a key role in preventing this from happening.”

He says that falls by older adults in the United States account for $34 billion in direct medical costs, with an average of $35,000 per injured person, and Safe Balance is the first program in the market to focus on balance problems for senior citizens.

Safe Balance is affiliated with Functional Innovation, a Birmingham-based company that develops medical equipment. Functional Innovations was founded by Barnett in 2012, and manufactures its products in Novi.

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