Gamers help neuroscientists map the brain and a vibrating shoe guides the blind: the most innovative stories from the world of wellness.

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a snapshot of Five Innovative Ideas each week that are reshaping the health care industry. Continue reading below for the most exciting ideas from the past seven days.

Neuroscientists Rely On Gamers To Further Brain Research

Neuroscientists are turning to the public’s natural proclivity towards games as a means to advance medical research and quickly collect vast amounts of data that they would not be able to gather on their own. One such game, Eyewire, created by MIT neuroscientist, Sebastian Seung, attempts to chart the neurons in the back of the eyes of mice by challenging users to follow and color in neural paths. Eyewire currently has over 35,000 registered users and Seung feels that if this game is a success it can subsequently be applied to chart the billions of nerve connections in the human brain. A similar game, Foldit, created by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, is designed to study how proteins fold which could ultimately have an affect on diseases like cystic fibrosis. Folidit has amassed over 500,000 registered players and its success has legitimized the idea of using games for research in the scientific community.

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