I’m a fan of the educational places of Second Life and Pharmatopia is one of the best examples how this virtual world could be used successfully in education. Robbo from BitingTheDust told me about the Pharmatopia project and asked the organizers to give me a guest account for a few days.
A key initiative is the development of an interactive virtual tabletting research and development laboratory, available online through Second Life, which gives students the opportunity to complete a range of activities that are available 24/7. Developed by the faculty, this new virtual teaching model is a shared practice model involving ten leading pharmacy schools from around the world.
Monash has purchased a closed-access island (not available to the public) in Second Life, a virtual world, available to staff and students at participating universities. The island has been christened ‘Pharmatopia’, and as the name suggests, aims to develop a pharmacy education ‘oasis’. The cost of the island is low and access for students is free.
Dr. Ian Larson describes what the project is about:
One of the demonstrations at this year’s Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 17 conference I can’t wait to see is the demonstration of Chris Culbertson (Neuroscience Ph.D. student) who will present how virtual reality can be used in addiction medicine:
Demonstration: Use of VR in Addiction Medicine. During the exposure, participants are encompassed within a sensory isolation apparatus, including a 32” LCD monitor and a surround-sound audio system. Participants interact with the specially created virtual world in Second Life, run from a standard Dell PC, using a simple gaming remote control. An additional monitor is placed outside of the apparatus for outside observation.
This method can be used in behavioral pharmacology research and it also makes it possible to improve cognitive behavioral treatments and exam drug taking behavior in a naturalistic environment. Read more about it.
I will present a slideshow “Practicing medicine in the web 2.0 era” and will also present in the Salon:
University of Debrecen, Hungary
Demonstration: Discovering the Virtual World of Medicine through Second Life provides medical educators and students with numerous educational opportunities and tools while visiting the places and islands that can change the way medical education is delivered today.
Scifoo lives on is a conferences series launched by Jean-Claude Bradley. After several successful events, we keep on organizing new ones but now would like you to weigh in. Which topic we should dedicate the next sessions to in 2009?
Second, we plan to do many more medical simulations in Second Life at the Ann Myers Medical Center. If you are a doctor, a nurse or a healthcare worker interested in virtual education and would like to give a slideshow about your field of interest, please send me an e-mail (berci.mesko at gmail.com).
To see a few examples, please check these posts and screenshots.
Everybody must know what basic life support means. This virtual tool may help you to learn more about such an important procedure.
Now I’ve got a huge list of useful Second Life medical sites and islands on Webicina, but here is the newest addition. The Italian Resuscitation Council (IRC) is starting to explore the possibilities to use Second Life like an environment for training. To teleport there, click here.
Excerpt from their mission statement:
One of the great advantages of Second Life environment is the possibility to create various training simulations, improving and testing teamwork, leadership, and technical skills. Simulations can be used simultaneously by a group of trainees connected from world different locations.
IRC headquarters in SL should became a place were instructors can be trained and re-trained. We are planning to build a CPR training platform in SL to maintain and update knowledge after a traditional BLSD course. Finally, IRC headquarters would become a site where avatars/layperson can afford to the cardiac arrest prevention knowledge and basic life support information.
It’s also possible to organize meetings at this great place.