Tekscan® Announces MobileMat™ BESS: Computerized BESS Testing for Pre- and Post-Concussion Assessments

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Tekscan, Inc., a leading provider of technologies for analyzing foot function, gait, and balance, announced the release of MobileMat BESS, a computerized implementation of the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS). BESS is a well-established protocol for postural stability testing that is commonly conducted as part of a sports concussion assessment. MobileMat BESS combines Tekscan’s proven pressure-sensing platform technology with innovative software to count the balance errors experienced by the subject during the BESS test, making administration of the test more consistent and objective.

balance testing on MobileMat BESS

Balance testing on MobileMat BESS

MobileMat BESS provides a new level of assurance to team physicians and athletic trainers that the BESS scores for their athletes will always be determined in the same way, regardless of the training and experience levels of the tester.

Balance, Concussions and Objective Testing

Over the past several years, there has been an increased focus on better understanding and assessing concussions in sports. Professional, college and high school teams and sports medicine clinicians are doing more and more to ensure that athletes do not return to play too quickly after suffering a concussion. The BESS test (or modified BESS test) is a balance assessment protocol that was developed specifically for assessing sports concussions. It is part of the SCAT3 Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, which was created by a group of international experts as a standard protocol for concussion testing. Although the BESS test is generally accepted by the clinical research community, some concerns have been raised about inter- and intra-rater reliability of the manual scoring. MobileMat BESS addresses these concerns by automating the process and virtually eliminating the opportunity for human error.

“We knew that postural stability and balance are related to a lot of public health issues in the US today – everything from concussions in young athletes to falls in the elderly – so we started looking at all of the balance tests and protocols out there to see where Tekscan could add value through automation. When we learned about the BESS test, we said so here’s a well-accepted, validated test but it’s susceptible to human error, and we can help with that,” said Peter Gantchev, Senior Medical Product Manager at Tekscan. Gantchev worked closely with Neil Letendre, Sr. Software Manager at Tekscan, to conceptualize and develop the product. “We knew we could do accurate balance testing with our mat systems, so it was really a matter of developing some new software that would walk testers through the BESS protocol and provide a reliable score,” said Letendre.

In order to ensure the product scored the BESS test accurately, Tekscan sent it for validation testing with researchers at the University of Delaware. The researchers there, led by Dr. Thomas Kaminski, tested the scoring of the MobileMat BESS system against their usual testing protocol. After testing nearly 100 athletes at their facility, they found that the MobileMat BESS scored balance errors just as well as their three trained testers.

“MobileMat BESS provides a new level of assurance to team physicians and athletic trainers that the BESS scores for their athletes will always be determined in the same way, regardless of the training and experience levels of the tester,” said Jaclyn Caccese, Doctoral Student - Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware. “This gives them the peace of mind and confidence that they can meaningfully compare and trend their athletes’ BESS scores relative to their baseline, even over multiple seasons.”

MobileMat BESS is now available for shipment worldwide. For more information, go to http://www.tekscan.com/medical/mobilemat-bess.

About Tekscan, Inc.
Tekscan, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of tactile pressure and force measurement systems and sensors. Our paper-thin sensors measure contact force and pressure between virtually any two mating surfaces; and are used throughout the industrial, medical and dental fields. Products range from simple force sensors to complete pressure measurement systems capable of sensing over 100,000 points. Tekscan’s Medical systems utilize Tekscan’s core force and pressure measurement technology paired with propriety software designed specifically for medical and veterinary applications. The Medical division offers a wide range of versatile solutions for objective gait and foot function analysis, balance assessments, joint loading analysis, animal gait analysis, and interface pressure measurement. For more information, visit http://www.tekscan.com/medical, call 617-464-4500, or email marketing(at)tekscan(dot)com.

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Katie McCormick
Tekscan, Inc.
(617) 464-4500 Ext: 232
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