Every so often, I stumble across stories about how video game technology can be used to make the world better—which makes me very happy. Such is the case today with the story that researchers have found a way to modify Wii remotes to “assess and diagnose children with an abnormal head position caused by eye diseases,” says an article on Science Daily.
The disease in question, it says, is called ocular torticollis, and besides sounding like a delicious pasta dish you might be able to get at the Olive Garden, it causes an abnormal tilting of the head, leading to pain and, among other things, “facial asymmetry,” as the Wikipedia page on the condition explains.
It seems that the best time to correct the problem is when sufferers are younger than 18, but because children are moving constantly, it can be tough to diagnose the condition without technological aids. That’s where the Wii remotes come in:
“The researchers used two Wii controllers to develop an infrared optical head tracker (IOHT) that automatically measures and records the angle of the head in real-time. The remotes were connected to a monitoring computer with an infrared camera and Bluetooth connectivity. The IOHT was evaluated for accuracy, validity and reliability by comparing it with the CROM device, one of the most widely used head posture measuring devices in hospitals.”
As it turns out, there were few notable differences between the Wii-powered IOHT and the industry-standard CROM device (which, apparently, has nothing to do with Conan the Barbarian). In fact, due to the low cost and ease of use, the researchers believe that the new device has great potential for future use in diagnosing this disease.
Pretty cool, eh? Finally—something to do with those dust-gathering Wii-motes.
Via Science Daily