Virtual Learning Environments in Health

Virtual Learning Environments in Health

Stamatia Ilioudi (University of Piraeus, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-002-8.ch026
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This chapter aims to present various virtual learning environments for medical purposes in the world. More than ever, medical students and healthcare professionals are faced to with floods of data of which the relevant information has to be selected and applied. The internet and the new media are a fertile ground to meet these requirements. More and more physicians unravel e-learning as new tool and as attractive adjunct to the traditional face-to-face teaching in medicine. This chapter describes the most important benefits for all parties of the simulation and learning environments in health sciences.
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Traditional training for health care providers follows a methodology of observation and repetition allowing the trainee to learn from those cases and situations presented within the short period of time a clinician attends school.

Simulation is a training and feedback technique in which learners practice tasks and processes under realistic settings and circumstances using tools and models, such as virtual reality, and utilizing feedback from observers, such as professors, peers, actor-patients, and video cameras.

Medical simulation improves patient safety, an a priori fact. Simulation technologies have a proven record in improving safety through decreased errors during technically challenging procedures, such as surgery and other interventions. Technical errors are reduced by improved training with a focus on error identification.

In addition to clinical skill development, simulation or training-based medical training provides realistic training in communication, leadership and team interaction and observation providing the student with the opportunity to repeat the materials until the student has mastered the information.

Distance education has emerged due to increased technological advances and the increased demands and responsibilities of learners. Historically, distance education was known as correspondence education, but is currently being replaced by a more electronic media (Schlais and Davis, 2001). Distance education programs primarily take place when facilitator and learner is separated by physical distance and therefore use different types of technology to deliver the subject content (Picciano, 2001). This makes learning interesting for both the facilitator and learner as the learners are given more responsibility as self-leaders to take initiative for the pace of their learning. As well, it allows the learners to think critically, preventing the facilitator to force them to learn. There is a focus on the needs of the learners as well as the requirements of the course. The needs of the learners involve their values and beliefs, as well as their available time. Assessing these needs will influence the development of curriculum and enrollment choices made by the learners.

As adult learners, health care staff will likely be involved in formalized forms of education throughout their lives that tends to be self-directed, independent and problem-based (Tight, 2002). A common model used for adult learning is an andragogical model which is based on the assumptions that adults need to know why they are learning something, that they have a self-concept of being responsible for their own lives, their experiences are a valuable resource, adults are ready to learn those things they need to know, adult learners are more motivated to learn as they bring their experiences to a relevant learning environment, and they are motivated by internal factors such as job satisfaction and self-efficacy (Knowles, 1984).

In the health care context, there is no question that the diffusion of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) has profoundly changed education and practice. Medical training on “real” patients is no longer acceptable (Gallagher & Cates, 2004) and there is an increasing demand for simulation-based medical education. Continuing advances in Virtual Reality (VR) technology and computer-based Simulations Devices, available at increasingly lowcost have opened new frontiers in teaching since the end of the 20th century.

Disparities in medical information and education are a major determinant of health practice inequities in developing communities. The recent diffusion of the internet is facilitating the creation and circulation of “new” VLEs in the health-care field, that overcome traditional boundaries of “space”, “time”, and “place”. Yet, online learning environments bring along huge opportunities for learning and knowledge exchange among multiple users in remote areas of the world, but also new barriers.

The validity of the new internet mediated learning environments has still to be tested, especially for what concerns their ability to: (1) overcome “traditional boundaries” characterizing the learning experience and consequently change medical education and profession and (2) help educate patients and “health seekers”.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Simulation: A simulation is an imitation of some real thing, state of affairs, or process. The act of simulating something generally entails representing certain key characteristics or behaviours of a selected physical or abstract system.

Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs): CVEs are used to construct a virtual world where users can interact with one another and the environment in which they preside in order to perform, for example, a training exercise.

Virtual Learning Environment: A VLE refers to the components in which learners and tutors participate in ‘online’ interactions of various kinds, including online learning.

Distributed Collaboration: VR has been employed to allow geographically distributed people to do more than simply hear and see each other. For instance, VR technology is being used to develop highly interactive shared virtual environments, graphically orientated, for local and distance training and learning.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Athina A. Lazakidou
Athina A. Lazakidou
Chapter 1
Sanjay P. Sood, Sandhya Keeroo, Victor W.A. Mbarika, Nupur Prakash, Ankur Seth
It is claimed that seeds of ‘medical informatics’ were sown in 1960s.From this time until the 1990s experts have described the discipline as... Sample PDF
Medical Informatics: Thirty Six Peer-Reviewed Shades
Chapter 2
D. John Doyle
E-health technology has started to become commonplace in the clinical world, with practitioners setting up their own Web sites to disseminate... Sample PDF
Medical Privacy and the Internet
Chapter 3
Ana Ferreira, Ricardo Cruz-Correia, Luís Antunes, David Chadwick
This chapter reports the authors’ experiences regarding security of the electronic medical record (EMR). Although the EMR objectives are to support... Sample PDF
Security of Electronic Medical Records
Chapter 4
György Surján
This chapter outlines the history of medical classifications in a general cultural context. Classification is a general phenomenon in science and... Sample PDF
The Cultural History of Medical Classifications
Chapter 5
Spyros Kitsiou
A fundamental requirement for achieving continuity of care is commonly accepted to be the integration and interoperability of different clinical... Sample PDF
Overview and Analysis of Electronic Health Record Standards
Chapter 6
Graham D. Bodie, Mohan J. Dutta, Ambar Basu
This chapter overviews an integrative model of e-health use that connects social disparities at the population level with individual characteristics... Sample PDF
The Integrative Model of E-Health Use
Chapter 7
Firat Kart
In this chapter we describe a distributed e-healthcare system that uses service oriented architecture as a basis for designing, implementing... Sample PDF
A Distributed E-Healthcare System
Chapter 8
Davor Mucic
In this chapter the author gives the short review over wide range of telepsychiatry applications. Furthermore, describes completely new and... Sample PDF
Telepsychiatry Within European E-Health
Chapter 9
Azizah Omar
In this chapter the author discusses several marketing principles and issues related to pitfalls and successes of Telehealth application in the case... Sample PDF
Pitfalls and Successes of a Web-Based Wellness Program
Chapter 10
Isabel de la Torre Díez
This chapter describes a Web -based application to store and exchange Electronic Health Records (EHR) and medical images in Ophthalmology... Sample PDF
A Web-Based Application to Exchange Electronic Health Records and Medical Images in Ophthalmology
Chapter 11
Mario Ceresa
This chapter mainly focuses on biomedical knowledge representation and its use in biomedicine. It first illustrates the existent more relevant... Sample PDF
Clinical and Biomolecular Ontologies for E-Health
Chapter 12
Roger Tait, Gerald Schaefer
The registration of corresponding patient volumes is often a pre-requisite for medical imaging tasks. Accurate alignment, however, usually results... Sample PDF
Distributed Medical Volume Registration
Chapter 13
Bill Ag. Drougas
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Electronic Commerce for Health Products Services-Problems- Quality and Future
Chapter 14
Christos Bountis
This chapter introduces and reviews the concept of distributed knowledge management within the Healthcare environment and between Healthcare and... Sample PDF
Distributed Knowledge Management in Healthcare
Chapter 15
Jelena Vucetic
This paper describes business and technological challenges and solutions for a successful emergency telemedicine venture called MediComm. Its... Sample PDF
An Analysis of a Successful Emergency Telemedicine Venture
Chapter 16
Tammara Massey, Foad Dabiri, Roozbeh Jafari, Hyduke Noshadi, Philip Brisk, Majid Sarrafzadeh
This chapter introduces reconfigurable design techniques for light-weight medical systems. The research presented in this chapter demonstrates how... Sample PDF
Reconfigurable Embedded Medical Systems
Chapter 17
Konstantinos Perakis
The evolutions in the field of telecommunications technologies, with the robustness and the fidelity these new systems provide, have significantly... Sample PDF
Third Generation (3G) Cellular Networks in Telemedicine: Technological Overview, Applications, and Limitations
Chapter 18
Anton V. Vladzymyrskyy
This chapter introduces usage of telemedicine consultations in daily clinical practice. Author has describe process of teleconsultation, sample... Sample PDF
Telemedicine Consultations in Daily Clinical Practice: Systems, Organisation, Efficiency
Chapter 19
Cheon-Pyo Lee, J. P. Shim
Ubiquitous healthcare has become possible with rapid advances in information and communication technologies. Ubiquitous healthcare will bring about... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Healthcare: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Hospitals
Chapter 20
Rafael Capilla, Alfonso del Río, Miguel Ángel Valero, José Antonio Sánchez
This chapter deals with the conceptualization, design and implementation of an m-health solution to support ubiquitous, integrated and continuous... Sample PDF
Agile Patient Care with Distributed M-Health Applications
Chapter 21
Žilbert Tafa
This chapter describes the very actual issues on mobile health (M-H) and home care (H-C) telecare systems, reviewing state of the art as well as... Sample PDF
Mobile Health Applications and New Home Care Telecare Systems: Critical Engineering Issues
Chapter 22
José Antonio Seoane Fernández, Juan Luis Pérez Ordóñez, Noha Veiguela Blanco
This chapter presents an architecture for the integration of various algorithms for digital image processing (DIP) into web-based information... Sample PDF
A New System for the Integration of Medical Imaging Processing Algorithms into a Web Environment
Chapter 23
Daniel Welfer
This chapter discusses the concept of open-source picture archiving and communication systems (i.e. PACS), which are low cost, and easy to... Sample PDF
PACS Based on Open-Source Software Components
Chapter 24
Carolin Kaiser
This chapter introduces a case based reasoning (CBR) system for customizing treatment processes. The CBR system enables the generating of inpatient... Sample PDF
Case Based Reasoning for Customizing Treatment Processes
Chapter 25
I. Apostolakis, A. Chryssanthou, I. Varlamis
A significant issue in health related applications is protecting a patient’s profile data from unauthorized access. In the case of telemedicine... Sample PDF
A Holistic Perspective of Security in Health Related Virtual Communities
Chapter 26
Stamatia Ilioudi
This chapter aims to present various virtual learning environments for medical purposes in the world. More than ever, medical students and... Sample PDF
Virtual Learning Environments in Health
Chapter 27
Jelena Vucetic
In the last decade, advances in medicine, telemedicine, computer technologies, information systems, Web applications, robotics and... Sample PDF
Multimedia Distance Learning Solutions for Surgery
Chapter 28
Maria Andréia F. Rodrigues
This chapter shows how recent computing technologies such as collaborative virtual environments, high speed networks and mobile devices can be used... Sample PDF
Collaborative Virtual Environments and Multimedia Communication Technologies in Healthcare
Chapter 29
Tiffany A. Koszalka, Bradley Olson
A major issue facing medical education training programs across the USA is the recent advent of universal mandatory duty hour limitations and the... Sample PDF
Transforming a Pediatrics Lecture Series to Online Instruction
Chapter 30
Anastasia N. Kastania, Stelios Zimeras
In this chapter the authors investigate telehealth quality and reliability assurance. Various models and standards can be applied to assess software... Sample PDF
Quality and Reliability Aspects in Telehealth Systems
Chapter 31
Kleopatra Alamantariotou
Recent statistics show that the World Wide Web has now grown to over 100 million sites: a phenomenal expansion in only 15 years (Mulligan 2007). It... Sample PDF
Quality of Health Information on the Internet
Chapter 32
Kashif Hussain
This chapter provides a practical approach to computerized system validation (CSV) for the pharmaceutical organizations for the users dealing with... Sample PDF
A Practical Approach to Computerized System Validation
Chapter 33
Bill Ag Drougas, Maria Sevdali
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Organization and Evaluation of Experimental Measurements of Ergophysiological Data with the Method of SF12V2
Chapter 34
Daniele Apiletti
Current advances in sensing devices and wireless technologies are providing a high opportunity for improving care quality and reducing the medical... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Risk Analysis of Physiological Data
Chapter 35
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Chaotization of Human Systems by Technical Electromagnetic Fields
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Demographic Differences in Telehealth Policy Outcomes
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