Games in Healthcare

IBM Healthcare Settles on Island in Second Life

Second Life LogoIBM has launched a 3-D healthcare island in Second Life during the 2008 HIMSS Conference in Orlando, FL. Displaying IBM’s strategy for the future of health care, the island promotes the concept of health information exchange for patient care. 

Presented at the 2008 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference, the Second Life island supports IBM’s vision for healthcare and takes the patient through various simulations of medical service. Designed with a futuristic atmosphere, players travel to island stations representing areas of service.

The patient’s home creates a private environment for basic testing and information input establishing the avatar’s personal health records. The patient also builds an electronic health record, following him across facilities. Read More...

In the laboratory, patients can receive clinical tests, such as blood work and radiology. The clinic delivers primary care, providing physical examinations and prescribing medications. The pharmacy station dispenses this medication, but also ensures the update of the patient’s personal health record. Scheduled appointments with specialists take place at the hospital.

Patients can chose to try an emergency room simulation, using a scripted control, taking them to a secure private area, for treatment. It again accesses the character’s personal health records to ensure proper treatment.

"We are pleased to offer our IBM Virtual Health Island as a tool for our healthcare customers and our worldwide sales force. The island allows each healthcare stakeholder to envision how the total system can be affected by intercession at each juncture of the healthcare delivery process," said Dan Pelino, General Manager, IBM Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry in a press release .

Designed and built by an all-IBM-India team, the island serves as a demonstration of IBM’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) as described in IBM’s Healthcare 2015: Win-Win or Lose-Lose, A Portrait and a Path to Successful Transformation – a document describing a wounded healthcare industry.

 “As they [patients] move from one island station to the next, they experience how the development of a totally integrated and interoperable longitudinal Electronic Health Record is used within a highly secured network that allows access only by patient-authorized health systems and family members,” explains IBM, in a release.

"We believe that the use of our new virtual world provides an important, next-generation Internet-based resource to show how standards; business planning; the use of a secured, extensible and expandable architecture; HIE interoperability; and data use for healthcare analytics, quality, wellness and disease management are all helping to transform our industry," said Pelino.

The healthcare island contains a Central Information Hub, where IBM explains its vision of the healthcare industry. In a virtual amphitheatre runs a slide show promoting IBM’s HIE architecture, emphasizing its positive impact on the healthcare industry.

Second Life is a 3D online world created by Linden Lab.  In October, 2007 IBM and Linden Lab announced plans to collaborate on new technologies and methods on open standards.