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

I love these kinds of stories. Last week Gizmodo posted In Early Tests, $99 Wii Balance Board Outperforms $17,885 Medical Rig which was initially reported in New Scientist’s Wii board helps physios strike a balance after strokes. Basically, the story revolves around a paper published by Ross Clark in which Clark’s team compared a $99 Wii Balance Board (used in gaming and exercising while connected to the Wii console) to an almost $18,000 force platform. The paper confirms that the $100 device is clinically comparable to the $18k device. As reported by New Scientist, Clark says:

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.

Kudos to Clark. Not kudos that a $100 device can do the work of an $18k device (after all, medical devices are not expensive because they’re necessarily hard or costly to make but because they don’t sell in high volumes). But, Kudos because Clark is thinking outside the box — the technology in our cell phones and calculators today is more sophisticated than many medical devices and it’s great to see researchers doing evidence-based reporting to show clinical “efficacy” of these devices.

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14 thoughts on “$99 Wii Balance Board Outperforms $17,885 Medical Device

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  2. Shahid, these are the types of stories that both grab your attention and provide for serious understanding of new care paradigms. It will only be a short time until these and other devices are providing a rich array of analytic information for our providers and care givers.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Bill. Thank you for the comment. I'm hoping that researchers everywhere start looking beyond their special purpose devices and see how these kinds of general purpose inexpensive devices can be applied to the clinical world. I will try to continue to highlight these things as I see them. If anyone else knows of similar solutions please share :-).

  3. Shahid
    I am a new comer to your site. Interesting story. Not only a new care paradigm but the great news in its affordability. All too often new technology is great and helpful but does not benefit all due to financial contraints. We need more devices and oppotunities like this

  4. “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 love these lines.

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  5. This is my first blog experience. I am doing an assignment for school. I am a RN and find the IT side of medicine mundane….however there are some very interesting information on the blog. I love the wii post.

  6. coldsorefreedomin3days

    Reply

    In case of the medical equipment it should be valuable and good. The cheap equipment may not provide service well.

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  8. I am doing this entry as an assignment as well. I have to admit, it is difficult to follow because there is so much information. That said, I enjoy reading about the new technology that may be functional in health care what people have to say about it. I am also waiting for continuing information about health care reform. Good luck on your assignment.

  9. I am doing this entry as an assignment as well. I have to admit, it is difficult to follow because there is so much information. That said, I enjoy reading about the new technology that may be functional in health care what people have to say about it. I am also waiting for continuing information about health care reform. Good luck on your assignment.

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