Second only to the general concept of Web 2.0, virtual worlds are the source of more articles in PubMed than any other emerging social technology. Of the many virtual worlds, Second Life (a free, open source 3d virtual world platform) is the one with the strongest presence in health care communities, from patient groups and medical education to research and professional meetings. Second Life can enable health systems to create either public or secure private spaces for functions from patient education, outreach, staff training, remote meetings, or more. As with any social technology, understanding the context and norms of the online space are essential to making institutional engagement a success. In this session, we will look at case studies illustrating how some organizations have used Second Life for communication, collaboration and community engagement.
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