The complete list of protocols is easily accessed from the software under Options/Protocols (see below). The parameters for user-defined protocols can be altered but those provided as pre-defined protocols by BII cannot be changed. A pre-defined protocol can be modified once it has been given a new name (save as). The reasons to alter the parameters of protocols are to change the amplitude limits of the on-line display, the recording duration, and any feedback parameters. Off-line analysis amplitude results are auto-scaled but can be re-scaled by the user, if desired.
Protocols can be defined with no feedback, auditory feedback Model 1 or BalanceFreedom™ feedback.
Pre-defined factory protocols
These are a series of pre-defined protocols where the test parameters and the name of the test cannot be changed. These are routinely administered tests. When viewing the list of available protocols and the list of sequences, the pre-defined protocols and sequences are highlighted in green.
These protocols were developed for several research projects for which SwayStar™ was the principle measuring device, see Literature references in section 2.2.
User-defined protocols are easily added within the SwayStar™ program either by creating a new protocol or by modifying a pre-defined factory protocol and giving the modified protocol a new name.
Two aspects that need to be considered when defining a new protocol:
The velocity limit of the sensors is 327 deg/s and recording sessions of 100 seconds or more may have noticeable angular drift.
The mean drift is 0.01 deg/sec, as is the earth’s rotation, both acting to create a drift that cannot be compensated without using a GPS (a geographic positioning system) device.
Note: Please be aware that if you choose to delete a user-defined protocol that it is permanently deleted. To reinstate, it will be necessary to add and redefine the parameters. You cannot edit or delete a pre-defined factory protocol unless it is saved (copied) with a new defined name.
Sequences represent any defined series of protocols.
Pre-defined factory default sequences
The current pre-defined factory sequences are for screening subjects are Standard balance deficit screening, PD Balance (Parkinson’s disease) screening and Spinal column stabilization. Default sequences are highlighted in green.
To review the list of protocols within the pre-defined sequences listed above, navigate the software as follows: left-click on Options/Sequences and the desired pre-defined sequence and double click on the desired protocol. If you attempt to edit, a message will appear explaining that edit is not possible.
Click OK and all of the protocols in the sequence will be displayed.
Any of the protocols can be chosen to enter into a sequence (once) and the order of test administration can be varied. Once a sequence is named, the order of administration can be changed without renaming the sequence; however, the change will be saved for subsequent administrations. If a new protocol is added, the sequence must receive a new name.
Note: It is not possible to change the order of protocol administration once a sequence has begun. It is only possible to skip a particular protocol within a sequence.
The sequences of the pre-defined factory protocols have been identified as best characterizing different types of gait and balance deficits. These protocols can be used to generate a Balance Control Summary and Index (BCI) as described in Section 2.8. For a BCI to be derived all its component protocols must be administered using the same sequence, before it and a BCI summary report can be generated.
It is possible to create and upload up to 63 protocols into the separate BalanceFreedom processor. Retrieving the sequence that has been loaded into the BalanceFreedom processor is not possible.