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Posts from the ‘Second Life’ Category

Social Media in Clinical Practice: Chapter 10, Organizing Medical Events in Virtual Environments

When I realized Springer made the individual chapters of my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, available, I thought it would be useful for future readers to get some insights about each chapter one by one.

Here is the short summary of what you can read about and an excerpt of the tenth chapter, Organizing Medical Events in Virtual Environments:

Virtual environments have been used in cases when geographical limitations did not make real world meetings possible; when cost effective forms of communication or collaboration are needed or conferences have to be recorded, accessible online and archived. The combination of a community, learning materials, simulations and methods for communication can add up as a virtual environment. Virtual reality (VR) is a term applying to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds. Moreover, the number of virtual worlds has been increasing for the past few years.Basic definitions used in wikis

  • Examples of Using Second Life in Medicine
  • The steps of entering Second Life
  • Ways of communication in Second Life
  • Organizing an Event in Second Life
  • Second Life Alternatives


Chapters that have already been covered:

Organizing virtual medical events: Interview

I did an interview with a medical professional (virtual name is Vera Zhaoying) who has been organizing medical events for years in Second Life.

  • When and why did you start organizing medical events in Second Life?

That is I think 4,5 years ago that I spoke for AMMC (the Ann Myers Medical Center), I was still a student and in real life I was not happy to talk in public. During that time Ann (founder of the AMMC) still taught in AMMC. When I proposed a subject, Ann said OK and you go do it yourself. Looked it up on the website. That was the 10th of September, 2007 and the topic was spinal cord injuries. I think during 2008 I began to organize meetings on a regular bases and created the AMMC intern group. By that time Dr Ann began to have more serious health problems and had asked me to do this, and i did :-)

  • What do you do in real life and do your colleagues know about your online activities?

What I do in real life, actually I think it is better to say what my roles are. First I am me and that can be tricky enough (joking) and have been an MD sinch March 2010 MD (proud proud proud). Now I’m a resident of Internal medicine and due to a trial already also in Oncology.

My online activities, some do know it and are interested and see the potentials, some think it is just a game and I should not waste my time on it. Surprisingly enough the more enthousiast collegues are those a bit older/old. I had not expected that, the younger ones are way more familiar with new technology and applications and mostly they don’t see it as a possible addition.

  • What about the Ann Myers Medical Center? Are there any live events these days?

Sadly currently not, AMMC does not have land and believe me I did try to find it, so I hope I win state lottery soon and simply buy a SIM :-)
What is now under development is a mobile solution, I asked a builder to create a truck and trailer. The trailer is the key part, it has a double that swings open in an angle of 90 degrees showing the interior. The first trailer will be about breast awareness. I wait with other plans till this one is completed.

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I'm attending a simulation at the Ann Myers Medical Center

  • What are your plans for the near future?

Well actually I miss a house in Second Life to call home and have a small office in it. So I probably go rent one. Other plans are 3 extra trailers for several topics: Diabetes is one and for the more near future a ship. That might sound funny but I don’t see AMMC getting land anytime soon, in order not to lose the momentum, I thought of the ship, it must have a place for meetings but also instead of trailers have containers with the option I just described, the containers can be used in for instance mobile hospital. Bit like medicine sans frontiere, I have to plan that in more details.

Many thanks for the answers and I wish you luck with your virtual medical education projects!

Consumer Health Informatics Course – Guest Lecturers

Kevin Clauson gave me the chance this year as well to be a guest lecturer in his course. See my narrated presentation about using virtual worlds in medicine and healthcare below:

Last semester I taught Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare in the College of Pharmacy (COP) after having coordinated several iterations of it in the MS in Biomedical Informatics Program. At the end of the COP course, I asked the students for their opinions about the most useful and least useful lectures of the semester (with an eye towards improving future offerings). Many of the students mentioned topics that were discussed by one of the six excellent guest lecturers. While I sincerely appreciate each guest lecturer’s contribution, I thought it would be even more meaningful to share a student response about each guest lecturer/topic.

Joining “Medicine Meets Virtual Reality” Virtually

I attended the fabulous Medicine Meets Virtual Reality conference twice, but this year, I couldn’t make it. Although the organizer, James Westwood, let me attend virtually through streaming my pre-recorded and narrated slideshow to the attendants (see below) and then I said hello via Skype. I’m pretty sure such virtual participation will play an increasing role in medical conferences in the future.

Health 2.0 News: Cloud discovery and overhyped smartphone apps

CNN Money made a valid point in their recent article when they said that the smartphone is quickly becoming one of your most dangerous possessions. Because of services that make our lives easier, like online mobile banking and online shopping via your phone’s web browser, your smartphone has surpassed your wallet as the main target for pickpocketers and thieves.

  • Cloud Discovery & Licenced Library Integration via WebMynd

So from a preliminary standpoint, these blood pressure cuffs are very interesting and a very niche product — but certainly not the game changers they are being touted as by many news sites.

10 Reasons To Attend Meetings Virtually in 2011

Dean Giustini published 10 great reasons to attend virtual meetings in 2011. I have been covering this issue for years and also released a narrated slideshow on this interesting and timely issue.

Internet in Medicine University Course: Virtual Reality in Medicine

The 6th week of the world’s first university accredited course focusing on medicine and social media was dedicated to virtual reality in medicine.

First slideshow:

A shorter version of the original slideshow with my own narration:

  • More than 20 million users, 30,000,000 online hours
  • What does SL mean for people?
  • It used to mean gambling (but not now)
  • Game? work? (The number of Second Life residents generating more than $5,000 in monthly income has more than quadrupled to 116 in the past year, according to San Francisco’s Linden Lab, owner of Second Life.); place?; tool?; entertainment?; sport?; opportunity?; appearance?
  • Technological barriers: register, download, install, open, log in
  • You can fly, walk, teleport, buy, sell, build.
  • Communication (chat, IM, e-mail, voice)
  • advantages (3D, media content, fast communication – SL fitness)
  • disadvantages (reliability, serious hardware requirement)
  • why do we need a SL?



Take-home message: great opportunities for patients and medical professionals as well.

Second slideshow:

Take-home message: Second Life provides useful tools to organize meetings, educate and learn without borders.

Free e-guide about medicine and virtual worlds on Webicina.


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