Second Life and Public Health

Uploaded by annepz on 08.08.2008

Second Life is an immersive learning environment,
An interactive teaching technology,
A safe place for patients and individuals
to meet, learn, and share,
An online conferencing tool for virtual meetings.
Emergency responders are using Second Life
to simulate disaster scenarios.
The Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness
and Preparedness Program
has built a virtual town complete
with hospital, emergency vehicles,
uniforms, innocent bystanders, and explosives
to conduct virtual table top exercises
to train workers in emergency response.
Virtual hospitals are being created
in Second Life to help rethink
traditional models of health care.
Imperial College London has built
a virtual hospital
to model new systems of providing care.
Second Life provides an interactive, fun,
and anonymous environment for health education.
The Sexual Health Simulation offers games
such as a Contraception Quiz
and links to simulations such as
a virtual tour of the testes.
The Nutrition Game,
created by Ohio University,
emphasizes the health impact of eating
at fast food restaurants.
Players visit a restaurant,
make selections from a menu,
and then receive nutritional information
about their choices.
Second Life has an active community
of people with both mental and physical disabilities.
With social opportunities
and the ability to go beyond
one's real life limitations,
Second Life provides a space for support
and social networking.
HealthInfo Island promotes
health information literacy,
provides research support,
and offers space for support groups to meet.
Informational displays,
movies, and reading materials
provide information to visitors.
Second Life can be used
as a web conferencing tool
which provides a more realistic
simulation of an in person meeting
than traditional conferencing software.
Colleagues can gather
in a virtual meeting space,
view presentations, and discuss issues.
Larger, more formal presentations can also
be hosted in Second Life.
The number of virtual conferences is growing
and guest speakers can reach
an international audience.
Government agencies are exploring
using Second Life to provide
information to the public.
The CDC has recently created CDC Island
which includes both meeting space
and informational resources.
Universities are heavily involved
with Second Life
exploring its use as a teaching tool,
a recruitment aid,
and as an informational hub.
At the University of Michigan,
the Medical School has created a space
called Wolverine Island
which is being used for virtual patient simulations.
The Health Sciences Libraries
have a library on Wolverine Island
and they host weekly speakers
and discussions at a nearby campfire.
Second Life is a virtual world
with an active public health community
and this is just the beginning.