Who knows what scientists at the Seoul National University College of Medicine were thinking when they decided to use Wii technology to help diagnose an eye disorder? Called ocular torticollis, patients end up tilting their head to one side to compensate for inefficiencies in one of their eyes. A well established method already exists for a diagnosis test, but researchers decided to try it with a couple Wii Remotes pointed at the subject, and Bluetooth connectivity to track movement.
Infrared LEDs were placed on a frame and on the subject’s forehead. At that point, movements of a user’s head would be synced and monitored. There was nothing particularly new about the actual test that was performed for diagnosis; the only thing new was the tool that was used. And in comparative studies, researchers found that the Wii setup was very close to the results of the widely used cervial range of motion device used by doctors.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Nintendo involved in medical science. Aside from all the stories that revolve around the Wii helping with fitness and the DS helping keep your brains trained, the company also gained a lot of attention when it revealed the Vitality Sensor peripheral, which scans a player’s finger and can monitor things like heartbeat and pulse. It’s an interesting niche for a gaming company, but it has made a name for itself in it.