MONASH UNI PART OF $1.5 MILLION GRANT TO DEVELOP POSTURAL MONITORING DEVICE FOR LOWER BACK PAIN SUFFERERS

MONASH UNI PART OF $1.5 MILLION GRANT TO DEVELOP POSTURAL MONITORING DEVICE FOR LOWER BACK PAIN SUFFERERS

Posted on 15. Sep, 2010 in Clayton Update

Lower back pain is Australia’s most common musculoskeletal ailment and sufferers may soon benefit from a groundbreaking postural biofeedback device being developed at the Austin Hospital thanks to a $1.5 million Brumby Labor Government grant.

Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the device, which provides “live” feedback to the wearer on correct posture and movements, could significantly improve the health and wellbeing of sufferers as well as reduce the costs associated with the condition.

“Lower back pain can be an extremely debilitating condition and the Brumby Labor Government understands it is difficult to rehabilitate and places a burden on patients, the health system and the wider community,” Mr Jennings said.

“International research results indicate that postural biofeedback is an effective treatment for patients suffering lower back pain.

“Postural biofeedback guides the patient on how to modify their posture to maximise their recovery from the condition.

“By providing ‘live’ visualisation through a computer, the system allows the clinician to train the patient to move and sit in a way that reduces their pain.

“The patient can then wear their monitor for up to 24 hours, continuing to respond to the biofeedback alarms specifically tailored to their needs and reinforce the correct posture and movement patterns for them.”

Mr Jennings said Victorian company Pro-Active Medical will receive a grant of almost $1.5 million to bring their Back Strain Monitor to proof of concept stage. Pro-Active Medical will work in collaboration with Monash University and the Austin Hospital Physiotherapy Department.

“Currently 80 per cent of the population will experience lower back pain at some stage in their life, with a recurrence rate of 40 per cent to 80 per cent. This has been estimated to cost the Australian economy about $9.2 billion per year,” he said.

“If successfully developed, the postural biofeedback device could reduce the recovery time for back pain sufferers, improve productivity, wellbeing and reduce health costs.”

The project is funded under the Victorian Government’s $28 million Smart SMEs Market Validation Program, a government-led research and development program for small to medium businesses.

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