altruistic avatars: virtual patients

of 21 /21
Altruistic Avatars: volunteering in the 3D virtual world Evelyn McElhinney aka Kali Pizzaro

Author: evelyn-mcelhinney

Post on 06-May-2015



Health & Medicine

0 download

Embed Size (px)


This is a project I did a number of years ago which I continue to use with my students now. Thank you to all of the volunteers and their altruism


Page 1: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Altruistic Avatars:volunteering in the 3D virtual world

Evelyn McElhinney aka Kali Pizzaro

Page 2: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

• Discuss the use of 3D virtual worlds for Clinical Simulation

• Describe the process involved in recruiting, training and working with volunteers in the 3D virtual world

• Feedback mechanisms for students and volunteers

• Results from exploratory study of volunteers experience

Page 3: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

What are 3D virtual worlds?

• 3D social networking multi user environment (MUVE)

• Learner control - Users create a digital representation of self (avatar)

• Immersive - immersed in the environment, subjective feeling of presence and social presence,

• Sharable user generated digital contents

• Viewer required or web interface

(de Frietas 2008)

Page 4: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Users create avatarsDigital representation driven by humans

(Blascovich and Bailenson 2011).

Pictures Andy Whiteford

Page 5: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients


• Learn diagnostic history taking

• No space in CSL lab

• Part time students - competing demands on time

• Difficult to ensure 'protected learning time' in clinical area

• Already using VW for PBL scenario

Page 6: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients


• Practise in class when able - scripted patient

• nurse (student) - student (simulating patient) –

• Remote practise in 3D virtual world lab with scripted patient - nurse (student) - student (simulating patient)

• Remote practise via automated bot -

• Remote practise with remote

Page 7: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

An exploratory study to determine volunteers experience of engaging in sharing their real life health history with nurses in a virtual world

8 Volunteers – 4 in the pilot

Age range 32 – 74

All male

Page 8: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Ethical challenges

• To pay or not to pay, that is the question?

• Are they volunteering?

• Keeping safe in the 3D virtual world

Page 9: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients


Page 10: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Practical challenges

• Must have access to computers that can run the virtual world to teach volunteers

• You must know how to use the 3D VW

• Create simple guide or video

• Volunteers must have home access to a newish computer and broadband (so must you)!

• Provide headsets for voice

Page 11: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

• Take volunteer history – remove diagnostic indicators

• Ensure student/volunteer available

• Provide support via private instant Message

• Feedback from volunteer to student via voice

• Feedback to you – refine scenario

Setting up the scenario

Page 12: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Student feedbackDid this session feel any more authentic than your previous scripted session which was played by

an actor ? If so why?

Student 1: “It was good to speak to a patient with real symptoms and able to take a real history. There were no scripted answers. Also he had a number of problems which is good as patients in hospitals can be complex”

Student 2: “I can see where this could be an issue for others, but having experienced both a facilitator and a practice patient I find no difference in authenticity. When I’m taking a history in second life, it is easy for me to immerse myself in the experience”

Page 13: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Virtual Patient FeedbackAnonymity

“I think generally, unless you are seeing the student face to face, that this kind of technique works better anonymously”

Page 14: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Immersion/Presence Important area was authentic, however all would have

preferred consulting room as opposed to ward area

“It added to the realism of the situation It could be adapted to a Health Visitors room or a GP’s surgery depending on the student cohort”

Page 15: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Avatar identity Embodiment

• Volunteer - All commented that they did not change their avatar.

• However, noted that they did not look like default avatars

• Nurse – no requirement for nurse to be in uniform, could not remember what the nurse was wearing

Page 16: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Feelings about sharing history

“Enjoyed being involved, no problem sharing health history”

“Happy to help, no qualms at all. No different to going to a new nurse”

Page 17: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients


• Via text or Voice

• Preference for text due to SL voice problems and deafness

Page 18: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Support “Important that Module Leader available to trouble

shoot any student or volunteer issues”

“To facilitate any queries with use of SL or dialogue with student. Important to reflect what happens in real lab”

Page 19: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

Time to get comfy with 3D VW

• Average = 4 hours

•Volunteers practise on their own and together by distance with or without module leader

Page 20: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients

What happened next

Recruited more volunteers – including international from within the VW

Increased diversity of disordersVolunteers for inter-professional scenarios and collaboration

with international colleagues Students are given feedback at the end of the session – include

feedback after reflection

Page 21: Altruistic avatars: Virtual Patients


• Blascovich, J and Bailenson, J (2011) Infinite Reality : Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution, HarperCollins e-books

• De Frietes, S (2008) Serious Virtual Worlds: A scoping study (Jisc)