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?