Publication Details

Holloway, D. (2012). Virtual worlds and health: healthcare delivery and simulation opportunities. In N. Zagalo, L. Morgado & A. Boa-Ventura (Eds.), Virtual worlds and metaverse platforms : new communication and identity paradigms (pp. 251-270). USA: IGI Global.


With decades of experience in simulation, the health professions are comparatively well versed in virtual environments for training. More broadly, there is a growing body of experience and supporting evidence on the benefits of virtual worlds for professional information sharing, clinical simulation, healthcare delivery, and as a research tool. Virtual worlds have empirically demonstrated outcomes as a simulation tool that increases knowledge and of health professionals, and initial explorations in regard to healthcare delivery show promise. Key challenges for wider adoption of virtual worlds within the health professions include a lack of established standards around privacy, a fragmented approach to collaboration and marked skepticism toward virtual worlds as a platform for health care delivery. Recommendations for formalised collaboration mechanisms, agreement on standards, and future research avenues are put forward, with a focus on virtual worlds as a tool that increasingly will be central to professional learning and practice.



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