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One More Killer App for Nintendo: Saving Lives

Wii CPR

Given all the capabilities built into today’s gaming platforms, you can guarantee that they’ll prove useful in ways never anticipated. Two new projects are proving that, by applying Nintendo hardware to medicine.

Greg Walcott, a professor bi-mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is working with this students to develop a program that will use the Wii remote to teach CPR. The program already received a $50,000 grant from the American Heart Association, which to post the software on its website as a free download this fall. Which could be genius, but as Kotaku points out, this thing would really take off it was distributed for free by Nintendo directly. We’ll go even further and propose a full on, life saving game: I mean, we already know that the proper beat for administering chest
compressions happens to line up with “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees, so the soundtrack is locked. And couldn’t you then combine it with a suite of life saving missions tasks, like administering the Heimlich maneuver?

Meanwhile, the biomedical company Bayer, is using the novelty of a video game to get diabetic kids to take care of themselves a bit better. Didget is a blood-glucose meter that plugs into the Nintendo DS. Regular monitoring wins kids points, which they can spend on in-game items and unlocked levels for two games, Knock ‘Em Downs: World’s Fair and Mini Game Arcade. Obviously, this thing gets a lot more interesting the better the game is–can’t the makers of Pokemon, Yuh-Gi-Oh!, and Legend of Zelda pair up with Bayer on something like this? The great PR alone would be worth it, not to mention the health benefits.

[Kotaku via Pop Sci]

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