Stedi Health: Revolutionizing Balance Training to Impact Longevity

By: Carleigh McFarlane (NYU Stern ’23) | Venture: Stedi Health

At Stedi Health, our mission is clear: to help people maintain their balance and prevent life-threatening falls through our innovative balance training device, the Stedi. As the name implies, we aim to keep people steady on their feet and provide a solution to one of the most pressing health concerns faced by the aging population – falls.

Falls are a leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among individuals aged 65 and older. Each year, over 37 million falls are severe enough to necessitate medical attention. With the global elderly population projected to nearly double over the next three decades, falls represent a growing health crisis that needs urgent attention.

In this context, the importance of balance training cannot be overstated. It’s worth pondering: how long can you stand on one foot? The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds may indicate an increased risk of death within the next decade. This startling fact underscores the critical need for effective balance training.

Currently, balance training often relies on simple, analog tools such as wooden balance boards or foam pads. Additionally, balance tests are rarely part of annual health check-ups for older adults, likely due to the lack of standardized testing methods and interpretation of results.

This is where Stedi Health steps in.

We have developed a robotic balance training device, aptly named ‘Stedi’, designed for fall prevention, injury rehabilitation, and preventative balance training. Stedi employs mechanical actuation to control the precise movements of an exercise platform, offering a safe, effective, and accessible form of reactive balance training. Think of it as the “treadmill of balance training.” Users can set the device to move in specific directions, at chosen speeds, and in distinct patterns, allowing for gradual improvement over time.

The reactive balance training, or perturbation-based training, provided by Stedi may significantly enhance balance, coordination, and reaction times, thereby reducing the risk of falls. For those in rehabilitation, Stedi offers a structured way to progressively regain balance, while athletes can utilize the device to refine their proprioception and stability, which are crucial for peak performance in any sport.

Moreover, Stedi captures valuable data to standardize and improve communication regarding balance abilities. Stedi introduces quantifiable metrics, establishing a common language among health practitioners and enabling more precise and informative assessments.

Stedi Health is at the forefront of the functional training transformation, making reactive balance training safe, accessible, and quantifiable for all. By adopting Stedi, one can reduce the incidence of falls among older adults, shorten rehabilitation periods, and fundamentally change the way one approaches longevity.

In essence, Stedi Health is not just improving individual lives; we are enhancing societal well-being. Through innovative technology and a commitment to health, we are paving the way for a safer, steadier future.

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