Scientific Research and Medicine in Second Life

David Pescovitz at BoingBoing had an interesting post about scientific research in Second Life, the virtual world:

This week’s Science News discusses several real scientific research projects inside Second Life. For example, Drexel University neurobiologist Corey Hart is building a virtual frog to study the neural pathways involved in hopping. Meanwhile, Robert Amme, a physicist at the University of Denver, is modeling a nuclear reactor as a training tool. Indeed, many research institutions are leveraging the simple sim tools of SL to create immersive science learning experiences.

This is a great example about how to close the gap between real science and the virtual world. You may also know about our medical exercises at the Ann Myers Medical Center where they train medical students (just like me) with case presentations. Now here is a tool with serious potential that could help us do it even better:

Text files, images and videos in one place. The aim is to create virtual patients with virtual medical conditions. Why is it beneficial for medical students?

The entire medical education is about case presentations. We move forward clinic by clinic during our studies and listen to case presentations all the time. That’s what we can do in Second Life but with even more educational material and without time or geographical restrictions.

According to DusanWriter, there are pharmacy patient case studies as well in Second Life.

The school has started to use SL as a training module, and has created a virtual version of Greensboro’s Moses Cone Family Practice Center, a local medical center. Students create an avatar and move through the center either as a student interviewing a patient, or as a patient. At the end of the simulation, the student takes a quiz to test his knowledge of the case history and of the practice center.

If you want to know everything about Second Life & Virtual Worlds for Academic Healthcare & Education, check out the slideshow of Patricia F. Anderson.

[slideshare id=348465&doc=slpharm-1207945053941144-8&w=425]

And if you don’t have a computer at home, let’s use a mobile to enter Second Life:

Further reading: