(02) 6162 5100 Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
Canberra Technology Park, Unit D102, 49 Phillip Ave, Watson ACT 2602

With the invention of the Balance Mat, a world-first Australian technology, medical and healthcare professionals and researchers can now obtain an immediate and accurate assessment of people’s balance.

About

The Balance Mat enables researchers and healthcare, aged care and fitness professionals to quickly and effectively test people's balance.

About Balance Mat
Balance Mat

What is the Balance Mat?

The Balance Mat is an Australian-made, patented, TGA-approved balance testing system powered by Balancemetrix technology. It comprises a lightweight rubber sensor mat, internal mesh of optical fibre and online score information system. 

Balance data is displayed on a Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer or Android device as a dynamic graph and score. The final graph, score, biodata, health status and relevant notes are captured in the score information system for later use.

Who is it for and what does it do?

THE UNIMETRIC balance testing kit is for aged care facilities and general practitioners, geriatricians and gerontologists. It enables a single 30-second test in the normal standing position that aids in the diagnosis of falls risk and related health conditions.

THE MULTIMETRIC 4 balance testing kit is for doctors, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and fitness trainers, particularly those in the “agewell” and sports sectors. It enables four separate 30-second balance tests (in a sequence of normal, tandem, left foot, right foot standing positions) and aids in the diagnosis of falls risk and health conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. The MULTIMETRIC 4 can also be used in the treatment of patients after injury (particularly sports injuries), stroke and heart attack.

THE MULTIMETRIC 7 balance testing kit is for balance researchers in falls risk, ageing, physiotherapy, neurological conditions, exercise science and exercise physiology. It enables seven separate 30-second balance tests (in a sequence of normal, normal with eyes closed, tandem, tandem with eyes closed, left foot, right foot standing positions plus sit-to-stand) to assist scientific research into balance-related health conditions, particularly those with a neurological dimension.

How does it work?

The Balance Mat system works by sensing and recording the continuous postural adjustments of a person standing on the mat: the higher the score the poorer the person’s balance. For a full technical explanation see the FAQ: How does the Balance Mat work? 

Why is this a breakthrough in balance assessment?

Ease of use and portability

The Balance Mat measures 600mm x 700mm and is only 6mm thick, making it easy, safe and non-threatening for older people to stand on and lightweight enough for practitioners to move around.

No guesswork

Thanks to our novel balance testing system, for the first time there is actually a measure of balance ability.

Tried and true technology

The Balance Mat has been validated by university testing with high correlations against other balance measurement devices such as force plates and inertial sensors.

Who makes the Balance Mat?

Canberra-based company Balance Mat Pty Ltd is the maker of Balance Mat systems.

Who are our collaborators?

Since the inception of Balance Mat Pty Ltd in 2016 the company has been collaborating with some amazing organisations who have helped us develop and validate our unique balance testing system. They include the Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT and COTA SA, University of Canberra, Hastings Medical Centre and RMIT University.

University-of-Canberra-logo
HMC-logo
RMIT-logo
COTA-logo

What people are saying about the Balance Mat

  • I believe your new Balance Mat product offers considerable benefit to the aged care community as an effective new tool to assist with falls prevention.

    Jenny Mobbs
    Executive Director, Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT
  • “Our fitness instructors found the software very intuitive and easy to use, and we compiled a fantastic set of data around our aged clients and their capabilities with regard to undertaking our Strength for Life exercise program. This data enabled our instructors to further develop customised exercise regimes for each client to assist with regaining their mobility and balance and improving their strength.”

    Thomas Tom
    Community Programs Officer, City of Prospect, South Australia
  • “I was happy to assist in Balance Mat research to monitor changes in residents’ health status over time in conjunction with the exercise programs I ran in a residential aged care facility on the Gold Coast. Now that I have started my own physiotherapy practice I am looking forward to working with Ian Bergman, the talented Balance Mat inventor, once again.”

    Scott Rissman
    Principal Physiotherapist, Elysio Health Pty Ltd
  • “I recognise the importance of the Balance Mat as a breakthrough in balance measurement. I think it has enormous potential for falls risk assessment in the aged care sector, particularly in rural areas.”

    Dr David Gillespie MP
    Member for Lyne and former Minister for Regional Health, Australian Federal Parliament

Key milestones

Milestone #1: Balance Mat Pty Ltd inception
April 2016

Milestone #2: Australian Government R&D Tax Incentive program inclusion
August 2016 – 2021

Milestone #3: Balance Mat research & development (R&D)
April 2016 to date ongoing

Milestone #4: Testing of Unimetric Balance Mat prototype with Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT members
April 2017

Milestone #5: Completion of prototype Unimetric Balance Mat for aged care and “agewell” sectors
December 2017

Milestone #6: RMIT University validation of Multimetric Balance Mat system against force plates
August 2019

Milestone #7: Completion of prototype Multimetric 4 Balance Mat for allied health professionals  
December 2019

Milestone #8: Australian patent grant
January 2020

Milestone #9: Initial clinical research by Dr Phil Ewart at Hastings Family Medical Centre
July 2020 to June 2021 (ongoing)

Milestone #10: Marketing campaign to Council on the Ageing (COTA) SA Strength for Life seniors exercise class facilitators in South Australia
September 2020

Milestone #11: Completion of prototype Multimetric 7 Balance Mat for allied health & medical researchers
September 2021

Milestone #12: University of Canberra validation of Multimetric 7 Balance Mat against inertial sensors
December 2021

Milestone #13: Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval
December 2021

Milestone #14: Official market launch of the Balance Mat system at Hastings Family Medical Centre, Wauchope NSW by Dr David Gillespie MP, then Minister for Regional Health
January 2022

Milestone #15: Completion of Multimetric 7 Balance Mat for researchers in allied health & medicine
June 2022

Milestone #16: Medical Services Advisory Committee application for inclusion in the Australian Government’s Medicare Benefits Schedule – in progress

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors affect static balance?

Maintaining balance involves three primary systems of the human body: the vestibular (equilibrium), somatosensory (proprioception and kinesthesia) and visual (spatial location relative to objects).

How long does a Balance Mat test last?

A standard Balance Mat test goes for 30 seconds. This can be shortened at the practitioner’s discretion.

How are Balance Mat results recorded?

At the end of each Balance Mat test or set of tests the practitioner has the option to upload the graph and score to the online score information system along with biodata comprising the name, gender, year of birth, known medical conditions and notes regarding the person whose balance is being tested. The practitioner has access to the data they upload on the SIS via a unique user ID and password.

What happens if there’s a large degree of movement on the graphical display?

The healthcare or fitness practitioner needs to assess the information provided by the Balance Mat and use other tests and information available to determine if the person has a problem with their balance ability. 

How does the Balance Mat work?

A sensor inside the mat has an LED and LDR which send and receive light through a mesh of optical fibre. Any deviation in the fibre caused by pressure on the mat surface affects the light signal. A microprocessor in the sensor detects the deviations and sends data to a Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer or Android device.

Data is displayed as a dynamic graph and score. These rise and fall in accordance with any movement on the mat. The score measures the variance from the mean. When the person on the mat is not moving the graph flatlines and the score is zero. When the person moves the graph shows peaks and the score rises.

If the movement on the mat suddenly stops the graph will immediately flatline. However, the score will decrease gradually. This is because the graph is measuring instantaneous data points and the score is measuring the variation from the mean (or the progressive sum of the cumulative data points).

What is the value of Balance Mat data?

Balance Mat data can be used for a range of science and research, analytical, diagnostic, therapeutic and comparative purposes including falls prevention, fitness monitoring, progress tracking, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, injury and post-surgery rehabilitation, pre-employment screening and work fitness evaluation.

News / Blog

Contact us

Tel: (02) 6162 5100, Email: hello@balancemat.com.au

Balance Mat Pty Ltd ABN 91 142 134 012

Canberra Technology Park, Unit D102, 49 Phillip Avenue, Watson ACT 2602, Australia

Balance Mat Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canberra-based public unlisted company Perimeter Security Industries International Ltd.