Medical Virtual Patients in Virtual Worlds

May 10, 2011 3:20 - 5:00pm

Sheetal Kavia BSc Honors Medical Biology, e-Learning Unit, St Georges University
Luke Woodham, MSc Multimedia Applications & Virtual Enviornments, e-Learning Unit, St George's University
Trupti Bakrania, BSc Honors Medical BioChemistry, e-Learning Unit, St George's University
Terry Poulton, e-Learning Unit, St Geroge's University

Virtual Patients (VPs) have been used at the core of the medical curriculum to deliver problem based learning (PBL) scenarios. St George’s, University of London (SGUL) has explored the use of virtual patients in virtual worlds such as Second Life, a freely–accessible world that allows its residents to create and develop environments and objects. The virtual world increases the immersion and realism of the exercises compared to text-based scenarios. SGUL began by creating PBL scenarios for use by paramedic work placement students which were delivered into the virtual world using the PIVOTE system, an open source tool that implements the ANSI /MEDBIQ VP.10.1-2010 standard. Based on feedback from the paramedic scenarios two medical scenarios were developed as part of the JISC-funded G4 project. These included a number of new developments, making wider use of the possibilities offered by the platform and improving the usability of the cases. The demonstration will showcase how the medical scenarios place the students in a GP surgery where they are required to carry out the history-taking, examinations and investigations before referring the patient for further tests. It will also highlight the significant changes made since the first paramedic scenarios were made, and explore ways in which the benefits of the virtual world environment can be incorporated into VP resources in the future.