Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical Equipment

January 19, 2010 -

Nintendo’s Wii Balance Board, which typically costs about $100 (and comes with a game), is performing on par with $18,000 medical equipment when it comes to assisting stroke victims regain their balance.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and Singapore General Hospital tested thirty subjects who were “without lower limb pathology.” After running four types of tests, the researchers reported that the Wii Balance Board outperformed the expensive laboratory-grade force platform (when it came to minimum detectable changes) in three out of four tests for assessing standing balance in patients.

Researcher Ross Clark told the New Scientist:

The low price of the Wii kit is now seeing it used to assess rehabilitation after stroke, traumatic brain injuries and to examine standing balance in children who were born pre-term.
 

I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up.

Catching terrorists, helping stroke victims… what’s next for the little Wii accessory?


|Via Gizmodo|


Comments

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

I think this is amazing. & the rehabilitation center didn't have to look far for this device to help their patients. More positives coming out than the negatives of video gaming. :)

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

"what’s next for the little Wii accessory?" <--- Well certainly not being effective at getting Fit, so it's a good thing it has other uses.

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

 Actually, it makes some kind of sense.

Yes, the assumption may be that the medical market has a huge profit margin, but thats partly because up until now there was very little use for this type of tech.  While the need for it was great, there were very few customers for this kind of thing, so anyone developing the tech had to make a decent profit off of each sale.

 

Some hastily researched numbers, so forgive any errors here:

5,815 registered US hospitals (from the fast facts site of the American Hospital Association)

56.14 million (as of September 30, 2009) Wii shipped world wide (taken from the wikipedia entry for the wii)

The number of people who can utilize the tech, thanks to the success of the Wii, is now about 10,000 times larger, so they can have a smaller profit margin per balance board and still make a lot more money.

I know that this research doesn't take into account that hospitals may not have this tech or may have more than one, or that there are other customers other than hospitals.  It also treating the consumer for the wii boards as every person that owns a wii, which is incorrect.  This is just a generalization.

 

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

Either someone is really incompetent, or Nintendo is a miracle worker.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

How so, because something desined for entertainment purposes is performing better than specialized equipment? That isn't new. PS2's and PS3s are being used in arrays for supercompiuters because they're more efficiently designed than the specialty equipment  for a fair bit cheaper.

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

"Catching terrorists, helping stroke victims… what’s next for the little Wii accessory?"

Fun games?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

Everything, but that.

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

Speak for yourselves; the WiiFit Plus minigames are hilarious. I'd pitch for a full length game on the balance board too, but I imagine I have more stamina than the average gamer.

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

Yeah, I'm just teasing.  I have to admit, I'm impressed with the amount of support that peripheral is getting compared to others like the Wii Motion Plus and especially Wii Speak.  Still, the games that support the Balance Board so far don't interest me.  Maybe Super Monkey Ball: Step and Roll will be awesome (it will have Chiquita brand bananas this time!).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

No, seriously, with all the sporting and "healthy lifestyle" campaigns out there praising Nintendo, makes me wonder what the Vitality Sensor's going to do. Bio-feedback and behavioral health programs helping people control energy, emotions, maybe even overcome seziures.

No, I don't think Nintendo will abandon games completely, but we may see a steady stream of Wii-like cycles: Marios and Zeldas once in a blue-moon, but non-gaming practical programs that serve a (NO!) logical purpose (blasphemy!).

It's great and sad at the same time.

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

Next up on the Nintendo to help list: Cure AIDs

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." -Albert Einstein

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

LOL.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Wii Balance Board Substitutes for Costly Medical ...

HOLY CRAP.

Bet some guy who sells the $18.000 version just comited suicide.

 
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MaskedPixelantehttp://i5.minus.com/iN5o9iu1ON2NG.jpg "It cursed my gear? WHY WOULD IT DO THAT?! THIS GAME IS BUGGED!"04/24/2014 - 9:51pm
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NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
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