Monday, January 18, 2010

$99 Wii Balance Board Outperforms $17,885 Medical Rig



[D]octors at the University of Melbourne found that the balance board, normally used for pseudo Yoga or navigating Mii's down a virtual ski slope, was so sensitive it could very well replace traditional laboratory-grade "force platforms" doctors use to assess a patient's balance.

When doctors disassembled the board, they found the accelerometers and strain gauges to be of "excellent" quality. "I was shocked given the price: it was an extremely impressive strain gauge set-up," said lead researcher Ross Clark, in an interview with New Scientist.

Even better, Clark's team has already published a paper that verifies the Wii balance board is "clinically comparable" to the nearly $18,000 lab force platform. That's great news for many smaller physio clinics that would otherwise be unable to afford the traditional rig. [New Scientist]

1 comment:

Clint D said...

Check out this scandal which we broke this week and you'll see that this may not be as innocent as it appears. For years the audio industry has been marking up lesser products and passing them off as more expensive devices. Looks like the medical community finally just got caught.

I'd have to think that the medical world simply upcharged based on the perceived value of the device... and the doctors paid it unknowingly. Supply and demand - which was shattered by this revelation. It's a good basis for discussion of free markets and ethics.