This is about the Wii Balance Board

[I apologize for my lack of a witty title for this post.]

The Wii Balance Board was put to the test against $18,000 medical machines used to diagnose the body’s balance of post-stroke/brain trauma victims and did a surprisingly good job. (A FYI just in case: With strokes and brain damage, the motor function of the body is often adversely affected.) The guys over at the University of Melbourne (they performed the tests) published a paper saying the balance board is clinically on par with its diagnosis to the traditionally used (and expensive) force platforms.

The team doing this experiment even took apart a board and found that the components in the $100 slab of plastic were of excellent quality.

So Clark and his colleagues at the University of Melbourne, Australia, took apart a Wii balance board and hacked into its strain gauges and accelerometers to tap into their raw data. “We found the data to be excellent. I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up.”

What does this mean? Well, given the price of the balance board, smaller medical clinics could potentially have the opportunity to set up their own balance laboratory/diagnosis station/rehab. Maybe physical therapy with Wii Sports skiing and snow boarding would put some fun in an often arduous journey.

[Gizmodo via NewScientist]

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