Virtual learning in medicine

Dave Taylor, Programme Lead, Virtual Worlds and Medical Media, and Robin Winter, 3D Interactive Designer, recently won the “design our avatar” competition.

You both work in the Medical Media and Design Laboratory (MMDL) at St Mary’s, within the Department of Surgery and Cancer. What work goes on within your lab?

The lab provides consultancy and development services, and helps to support the Department’s research in use of virtual worlds for healthcare. Our applications range from hospital and service design planning, to major incident simulations for assessing communication and leadership skills. We work with other researchers in our Department, to make use of the latest research in behavioural science and the provision of information for patients in the NHS. Our most recent work focuses on the ability to walk through and test the design of a clinic and its services before it is even built. And we are beginning to work with specific patient communities, and researching more effective ways to help people lead healthier lives. There is an overview of some of our work in the Imperial Media library: http://www2.imperial.ac.uk/imedia/content/view/2084/new-media-and-healthcare-avatars-virtual-worlds-and-apps and in a BBC programme about our major incident simulations: http://www.rockhopper.tv/programmes/619/

Picture: a photo of the Virtual Imperial Surgical Innovation Centre, based on the Paterson Centre in South Wharf Road on a misty day.

How is Second Life contributing towards student learning?

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