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Title: The application of innovative virtual world technologies to enhance healthcare education
Author: Patel, Vishal Arun
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 0164
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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The World Wide Web has evolved leading to the development of three-dimensional virtual worlds. These are online, accessible environments through which a user may engage, communicate and interact via their digital self, known as their avatar. These virtual worlds offer the opportunity for further content to be generated in order to provide new environments and simulations. This research work explores the potential of virtual worlds in providing an educational platform for healthcare professionals. In order to establish this, the effectiveness of a virtual world environment was determined through the use of a custom-built virtual world operating theatre, which was utilised to train operating theatre novices in preparation for the real-life environment. Following the application of a virtual world environment, this research explored the development of a virtual patient scenario for training healthcare professionals. The virtual patient scenario focused on the management of adverse events associated with medical infusion devices with a nurse user group assessing the simulation face validity. The next step was to devise a methodology to develop a series of immersive virtual patients. This involved the use of allied web technologies to produce a robust, reproducible method of 3D virtual patient generation. Three virtual patients were constructed, with distinct surgical pathologies at three levels of increasing complexity. Subsequently the face, content and construct validity of the virtual patients was established to differentiate surgeons of different training grades. Finally the virtual patients were utilised to emulate real clinical situations, in which handoff of patient information occurred. The virtual patients were used to establish if the quality of handoff impacted on the subsequent patient management in a simulated setting. Overall this research has demonstrated the efficacy of virtual world environments and simulations in providing an alternative educational platform for healthcare professionals.
Supervisor: Darzi, Ara ; Aggarwal, Rajesh Sponsor: Health Education England
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral