Creutzfeldt J et al, J Med Internet Res, 12(3)
Contemporary learning technologies, such as massively multiplayer virtual worlds (MMVW), create new means for teaching and training. However, knowledge about the effectiveness of such training is incomplete, and there are no data regarding how students experience it. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a field within medicine in high demand for new and effective training modalities.
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Wiecha, John et al, J Med Internet Res, 12(1)
Virtual worlds are rapidly becoming part of the educational technology landscape. Second Life (SL) is one of the best known of these environments. Although the potential of SL has been noted for health professions education, a search of the world’s literature and of the World Wide Web revealed a limited number of formal applications of SL for this purpose and minimal evaluation of educational outcomes. Similarly, the use of virtual worlds for continuing health professional development appears to be largely unreported.
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Beard, Leslie et al, J Med Internet Res, 11(2)
Increasingly, governments, health care agencies, companies, and private groups have chosen Second Life as part of their Web 2.0 communication strategies. Second Life offers unique design features for disseminating health information, training health professionals, and enabling patient education for both academic and commercial health behavior research.
This study aimed to survey and categorize the range of health-related activities on Second Life; to examine the design attributes of the most innovative and popular sites; and to assess the potential utility of Second Life for the dissemination of health information and for health behavior change.
We used three separate search strategies to identify health-related sites on Second Life. The first used the application’s search engine, entering both generic and select illness-specific keywords, to seek out sites. The second identified sites through a comprehensive review of print, blog, and media sources discussing health activities on Second Life. We then visited each site and used a snowball method to identify other health sites until we reached saturation (no new health sites were identified). The content, user experience, and chief purpose of each site were tabulated as well as basic site information, including user traffic data and site size.
We found a wide range of health-related activities on Second Life, and a diverse group of users, including organizations, groups, and individuals. For many users, Second Life activities are a part of their Web 2.0 communication strategy. The most common type of health-related site in our sample (n = 68) were those whose principle aim was patient education or to increase awareness about health issues. The second most common type of site were support sites, followed by training sites, and marketing sites. Finally, a few sites were purpose-built to conduct research in SL or to recruit participants for real-life research.
Studies show that behaviors from virtual worlds can translate to the real world. Our survey suggests that users are engaged in a range of health-related activities in Second Life which are potentially impacting real-life behaviors. Further research evaluating the impact of health-related activities on Second Life is warranted.
Rich, Emma, and Andy Miah. Surveillance & Society, 6(2)
This paper examines how â€˜surveillance medicine’ (Armstrong 1995) has expanded the realm of the medical gaze via its infiltration of cyberspace, where specific features of healthism are now present. Drawing on Foucault’s notion of biopower, we examine how digital health resources offer new ways through which to discipline individuals and regulate populations. The emergence of health regulation within and through cyberspace takes place in a context wherein the relationship between the body and technology is rendered more complex.
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Hansen, Margaret M., J Med Internet Res, 10(3)
The author provides a critical overview of three-dimensional (3-D) virtual worlds and “serious gaming” that are currently being developed and used in healthcare professional education and medicine. The relevance of this e-learning innovation for teaching students and professionals is debatable and variables influencing adoption, such as increased knowledge, self-directed learning, and peer collaboration, by academics, healthcare professionals, and business executives are examined while looking at various Web 2.0/3.0 applications.
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Gorini, Alessandra et al, J Med Internet Res, 10(3)
The aim of the present paper is to describe the role played by three-dimensional (3-D) virtual worlds in eHealth applications, addressing some potential advantages and issues related to the use of this emerging medium in clinical practice. Due to the enormous diffusion of the World Wide Web (WWW), telepsychology, and telehealth in general, have become accepted and validated methods for the treatment of many different health care concerns. The introduction of the Web 2.0 has facilitated the development of new forms of collaborative interaction between multiple users based on 3-D virtual worlds.
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