Second Life, Virtual Worlds,
implications for PHRs
W. Scott Erdley, DNS, RN
• Synthetic versus virtual
• Simulated 'place', usually via computer,
incorporating user-perceived stimuli (audio, visual,
haptic, and so forth)
• May or may not incorporate real-world rules
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_worlds, last accessed June 12.2009)
o 3-D virtual world of residents opened to public in
Retain intellectual property rights of ‘digital’
Able to buy, sell and trade with other
'Land' available for purchase
o URL: http://secondlife.com/
• PHR (personal health record)
o "A personal health record (PHR) is typically a
health record that is initiated and maintained
by an individual."
o See Peter Murray's presentation for additional
information and insights
SL – examples
• Previously discussed (SINI’08)
o Mental health arena (article)
o Medical training
Interactive Trauma Trainer
AIDS-related Kaposi Sarcoma Experience
Heart sounds (blog by Bertalan Mesko)
SL - examples
• vHealth Island (IBM)
• CDC Island
SL - examples
SLHealthy / SecondLife Healthy
• Compiles self-reported information related to consumer
health locations and groups in SecondLife
• Array of example sites in SL ranging from agorophobia toa
grief center to TBI survivors group
Virtual worlds / SecondLife
Points of interest:
• Health / medicine increasingly is a valuable service of
• Positive impact on those who utilize SecondLife as a
component of their wellness
• Increased net access (aka 'broadband') equals increase in
users of virtual worlds - good, bad, indifferent?
• Beneficial to society?
PHR & Virtual Worlds
Questions to consider:
• What is the intersection, or interaction, of these concepts?
• Why do you believe these will intersect? Is this beneficial or
harmful (or without impact) concerning PHR adoption and
• Why should PHR be available in a virtual environment?
Points to ponder:
• Net access here to stay?
• Web 2.0 social applications - something for everyone?
• Progress in healthcare connected with technological
advancement and or growth? Good, bad, indifferent?
• Ride the wave or wait for impact?