Surgeons Using Wiis to Hone Their Skillz

We've heard of Wiis in medicine before — but now instead of handing out Nintendo's little white giant to burn victims and physical therapy patients, some doctors are using them as training tools.

LiveScience reports that surgeons in training at what I assume to be an Arizona medical facility are testing out ways to use the Wii to improve surgical skills:

Eight trainees were asked to play the Wii for an hour before performing virtual laparoscopic surgery with a tool that simulates a patient's body and tracks the surgeon's movements as he or she operates.

The Wii-playing residents scored 48 percent higher than others without the warm-up with the Wii, working faster and more accurately.

The article goes on to talk about another hospital — NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center — using the Wii as a more effective way to process patient X-ray and MRI images. Instead of just clicking through scans on a computer, a twist of the Wii-mote can perform the same scrolling function with a lower risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

It's probably too soon to be thinking about this yet — especially since I just got an MA in Communications — but if they did start handing out Wiis in med school, I'd sign up for the MCAT so fast...

Powerful Ideas: Wii Aids Doctors and Patients [LiveScience via Yahoo!] [Image Credit]