Oakland University REU in Computer Science 2007

VI-MED: Virtual Medical Environment for Nurse Training

  Practical training is an essential component of nursing studentsí preparation to entering the workforce and making decisions that impact patientsí health and sometimes lives. The quality of the learning that results from practical training depends, among other things, on 1. the variety of cases that the students gets exposed to, and 2. the quality of feedback that they receive directly from the patientís response to their actions, and indirectly from the verbal and written comments of the supervising personnel. Both of these factors can vary dramatically resulting in important gaps in a graduating nurseís preparedness. In this project, we propose to complement the practical training with a virtual trainer. The VIP system generates a set of virtual patients whose distribution of symptoms and other parameters is realistic yet ensures a full coverage of cases including low frequency cases. The VIP system keeps a complete log of the patientís evolution and reaction to the studentís actions. A thorough feedback can then be generated from the log. This feedback can be used alone or complemented with comments from nursing supervising faculty. The VIP system is developed using Game Studio 6. In this paper, we discuss two technical aspects of the system: The dynamic patient model and the feedback component. The challenge in both of these components arises from the level of uncertainty that permeates health care decision making.


Heather Airoldi

  • School: Gordon College, MA
  • Major: Computer Science
  • Standing: Senior

Jonathan Barr

  • School: University of Michigan
  • Major: Engineering Physics
  • Standing: Sophomore