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Concept: Wii Remote

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Poststroke hemiplegic patients often show altered weight distribution with balance disorders, increasing their risk of fall. Conventional balance training, though powerful, suffers from scarcity of trained therapists, frequent visits to clinics to get therapy, one-on-one therapy sessions, and monotony of repetitive exercise tasks. Thus, technology-assisted balance rehabilitation can be an alternative solution. Here, we chose virtual reality as a technology-based platform to develop motivating balance tasks. This platform was augmented with off-the-shelf available sensors such as Nintendo Wii balance board and Kinect to estimate one’s center of mass (CoM). The virtual reality-based CoM-assisted balance tasks (Virtual CoMBaT) was designed to be adaptive to one’s individualized weight-shifting capability quantified through CoM displacement. Participants were asked to interact with Virtual CoMBaT that offered tasks of varying challenge levels while adhering to ankle strategy for weight shifting. To facilitate the patients to use ankle strategy during weight-shifting, we designed a heel lift detection module. A usability study was carried out with 12 hemiplegic patients. Results indicate the potential of our system to contribute to improving one’s overall performance in balance-related tasks belonging to different difficulty levels.

Concepts: Wii Remote, Balance board, Wii Fit, History of video game consoles, Center of mass, Mass, Wii, Wii Balance Board

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The use of force platform technologies to assess standing balance is common across a range of clinical areas. Numerous researchers have evaluated the low-cost Wii Balance Board (WBB) for its utility in assessing balance, with variable findings. This review aimed to systematically evaluate the reliability and concurrent validity of the WBB for assessment of static standing balance. Articles were retrieved from six databases (Medline, SCOPUS, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Inspec) from 2007 to 2017. After independent screening by two reviewers, 25 articles were included. Two reviewers performed the data extraction and quality assessment. Test-retest reliability was investigated in 12 studies, with intraclass correlation coefficients or Pearson’s correlation values showing a range from poor to excellent reliability (range: 0.27 to 0.99). Concurrent validity (i.e. comparison with another force platform) was examined in 21 studies, and was generally found to be excellent in studies examining the association between the same outcome measures collected on both devices. For studies reporting predominantly poor to moderate validity, potentially influential factors included the choice of 1) criterion reference (e.g. not a common force platform), 2) test duration (e.g. <30 s for double leg), 3) outcome measure (e.g. comparing a centre of pressure variable from the WBB with a summary score from the force platform), 4) data acquisition platform (studies using Apple iOS reported predominantly moderate validity), and 5) low sample size. In conclusion, evidence suggests that the WBB can be used as a reliable and valid tool for assessing standing balance. Protocol registration number: PROSPERO 2017: CRD42017058122.

Concepts: Wii Fit, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Psychometrics, Wii, Reliability, Wii Balance Board

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Falls among older adults is one of the major public health challenges facing the rapidly changing demography. The valid assessment of reaction time (RT) and other well-documented risk factors for falls are mainly restricted to specialized clinics due to the equipment needed. The Nintendo Wii Balance Board has the potential to be a multi-modal test and intervention instrument for these risk factors, however, reference data are lacking.

Concepts: Nintendo, Nintendo GameCube, Epidemiology, Wii Fit, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Wii, Wii Balance Board

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The feasibility and preliminary evidence for efficacy of a serious games platform compared to exergame using the Wii for arm rehabilitation in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) was investigated.

Concepts: Wii Remote, Hollywood, Wii, Super Mario Bros., Nintendo DS, Randomized controlled trial, Multiple sclerosis

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Simple methods for quantitative evaluations of individual motor performance are crucial for the early detection of motor deterioration. Sit-to-stand movement from a chair is a mechanically demanding component of activities of daily living. Here, we developed a novel method using the ground reaction force and center of pressure measured from the Nintendo Wii Balance Board to quantify sit-to-stand movement (sit-to-stand score) and investigated the age-related change in the sit-to-stand score as a method to evaluate reduction in motor performance. The study enrolled 503 participants (mean age ± standard deviation, 51.0 ± 19.7 years; range, 20-88 years; male/female ratio, 226/277) without any known musculoskeletal conditions that limit sit-to-stand movement, which were divided into seven 10-year age groups. The participants were instructed to stand up as quickly as possible, and the sit-to-stand score was calculated as the combination of the speed and balance indices, which have a tradeoff relationship. We also performed the timed up and go test, a well-known clinical test used to evaluate an individual’s mobility. There were significant differences in the sit-to-stand score and timed up and go time among age groups. The mean sit-to-stand score for 60s, 70s, and 80s were 77%, 68%, and 53% of that for the 20s, respectively. The timed up and go test confirmed the age-related decrease in mobility of the participants. In addition, the sit-to-stand score measured using the Wii Balance Board was compared with that from a laboratory-graded force plate using the Bland-Altman plot (bias = -3.1 [ms]-1, 95% limit of agreement: -11.0 to 3.9 [ms]-1). The sit-to-stand score has good inter-device reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.87). Furthermore, the test-retest reliability is substantial (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.64). Thus, the proposed STS score will be useful to detect the early deterioration of motor performance.

Concepts: Reaction, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo, Wii Fit, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Wii, Wii Balance Board

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Balance deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) are often monitored by means of observer-rated tests. These may provide reliable data, but may also be time-consuming, subject to inter-rater variability, and potentially insensitive to mild fluctuations throughout the clinical course. On the other hand, laboratory assessments are often not available. The Nintendo Wii Balance Board (WBB) may represent a low-cost solution. The purpose of the current study was to examine the methodological quality of WBB data in MS (internal consistency, test-retest reliability), convergent validity with observer-rated tests (Berg Balance Scale, BBS; Timed-Up and Go Test, TUG), and discriminative validity concerning clinical status (Expanded Disability Status Scale, EDSS).

Concepts: Nintendo, Wii Fit, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Psychometrics, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Reliability

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Cooperative learning has been shown to result in better task performance, compared to individual and competitive learning, and can lead to positive social effects. However, potential working mechanisms at a micro level remain unexplored. One potential working mechanism might be the level of interpersonal synchrony between cooperating individuals. It has been shown that increased levels of interpersonal synchrony are related to better cognitive performance (e.g., increased memory). Social factors also appear to be affected by the level of interpersonal synchrony, with more interpersonal synchrony leading to increased likeability. In the present study, interpersonal synchrony of postural sway and its relation to task performance and social factors (i.e., popularity, social acceptance, and likeability) was examined. To test this, 183 dyads performed a tangram task while each child stood on a Nintendo Wii Balance Board that recorded their postural sway. The results showed that lower levels of interpersonal synchrony were related to better task performance and those dyads who were on average more popular synchronized more. These results contradict previous findings. It is suggested that for task performance, a more loosely coupled system is better than a synchronized system. In terms of social competence, dyad popularity was associated with more interpersonal synchrony.

Concepts: Nintendo, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Balance board, Wii Fit, Psychology, Wii, Wii Balance Board

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The Wii Balance Board (WBB) has been proposed as an inexpensive alternative to laboratory-grade Force Plates (FP) for the instrumented assessment of balance. Previous studies have reported a good validity and reliability of the WBB for estimating the path length of the Center of Pressure. Here we extend this analysis to 18 balance related features extracted from healthy subjects (HS) and individuals affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with minimal balance impairment.

Concepts: Virtual Console, Nintendo, Nintendo GameCube, Wii Fit, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote, Wii, Wii Balance Board

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Diagnostic imaging plays an important role in the operating room, providing surgeons with a reference and surgical plan. Surgeon autonomy in the operating room has been suggested to decrease errors that stem from communication mistakes. A standard computer mouse was compared to a wireless remote-control style controller for computer game consoles (Wiimote) for the navigation of diagnostic imaging studies by sterile personnel in this prospective survey study. Participants were recruited from a cohort of residents and faculty that use the surgical suites at our institution. Outcome assessments were based on survey data completed by study participants following each use of either the mouse or Wiimote, and compared using an analysis of variance. The mouse was significantly preferred by the study participants in the categories of handling, accuracy and efficiency, and overall satisfaction (P <0.05). The mouse was preferred to both the Wiimote and to no device, when participants were asked to rank options for image navigation. This indicates the need for the implementation of intraoperative image navigation devices, to increase surgeon autonomy in the operating room.

Concepts: Surgeon, Wii Remote, Bluetooth, Mouse, Video game, Personal computer, Surgery

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Lower limb weakness is an important risk factor for fall accidents and a predictor for all-cause mortality among older adults. Unilateral whole-lower limb strength may be a better measure of fall risk than the bilateral measure. In addition, a number of clinical conditions affect only one leg, and thus this type of assessment is relevant in clinical settings.

Concepts: Virtual Console, Nintendo, Nintendo GameCube, Wii Fit, Wii Remote, History of video game consoles, Wii, Wii Balance Board