Covid-19 Coronavirus

Donation of cutting-edge equipment revolutionises balance tests

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Demonstration of balance testing equipment

Those suffering from prolonged dizziness who require investigation at hospital are benefiting from new cutting-edge equipment thanks to a generous donation. 

The League of Friends of Noble’s Hospital has purchased an ICS Impulse device at a cost of £18,000. The equipment, which looks like a pair of glasses, can quickly diagnose issues with a patient’s balance without causing any discomfort.  Previously, a balance test required a 6 – 8 week wait as the procedure could take up to two hours, meaning a patient had to be booked into a separate clinic. The test was often uncomfortable for the patient as it was designed to actually make them feel dizzy in order to assess how well the inner ear was working. 

The new equipment uses a camera mounted within a pair of glasses to monitor and measure a patient’s eye movements as their head is tilted in different directions. The way the eye responds to movement of the head changes when someone’s balance is impaired.  Specialist software – which accounts for the majority of the cost – interprets the eye movement and is so precise that it not only quickly identifies the affected ear but also the specific canal of the inner ear. 

Head of Audiology at Noble’s Hospital, Stephen Griffiths, said:

‘We are very grateful to the League of Friends and all those who have given so generously to the charity.  This equipment has revolutionised the way we do balance tests in the Isle of Man. From a patient’s perspective we’ve taken what could be a two months process, waiting for a rather unpleasant balance test, and reduced it down to 15 minutes, with no discomfort or side effects. As well as being much more convenient for the patient it also means we can be much more efficient, seeing up to eight patients in the time it would have taken to see one.’ 

The League of Friends of Noble’s Hospital was founded in 1951 and in the past decade alone has donated £1 million in equipment, furnishings and patient comforts. The charity is entirely reliant upon the generosity of the Manx public through donations and legacies, with anyone able to join the League for as little as £1 a year. 

Chair of the League of Friends, Chris Kelly, said:

‘The League of Friends is pleased to have been able to help the audiology team in funding this new, state of the art equipment.  We are often able to help with initiatives like this, where new equipment and devices come onto the market which, understandably, the hospital may not immediately be in a position to purchase.  

‘Officers of the League of Friends were given a demonstration of the new equipment, which was very impressive and clearly represents an improvement when compared to the previous tests for balance issues.  

‘The League of Friends is proud to continue its important work to support Noble’s Hospital and its dedicated health care professionals, which helps to enhance the quality of care available to the people of the Isle of Man.’

Issued By

Back to top