Curtin & George Washington Universities Collaborate to Build Jim: Simulated Virtual Reality Patient

jim empathy simulator

Recently the website Study International spent some time with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Curtin University in Australia to learn more about their collaborative project Jim. Build with George Washington University in the US, Jim is a virtual reality creation, designed to simulate patients for healthcare sector trainees.

Study International Interview Excerpt:


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Ranked in the world’s top two percent by the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016, Curtin University has trained more health professionals than any other tertiary institution in Western Australia. The use of state-of-the-art training tools and high-tech simulation experiences is central to the curriculum at Curtin’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Such technologies enable students to gain confidence and competence in their clinical skills without putting actual patients at risk, challenging them to deal with real-world clinical situations in a safe and supportive environment. 

“Jim gives students the opportunity to practice in a safe, controlled, repeated way, so they’re less at risk to the general public when they go into their clinic training,” says Dr Janet Beilby from the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology. Students studying Speech Pathology, Psychology, and Physiotherapy, along with many other health degrees, get the chance to interact with Jim and learn from their mistakes before encountering real patients. The Faculty takes virtual reality a step further with their Virtual Home Visit (VHV) Training Tool, or as Curtin calls it, “a serious game”.

This innovation from the Curtin research team, in partnership with software developer Learnbrite, is a game-based learning system that allows physiotherapy students to simulate a home visit to elderly people, offering support to allow them to remain at home and independent. The learner interacts with client avatars, identifies fall risks and hazards and then formulates a specific management plan that will allow the client to remain at home. Students can do this online, or via a laptop or iPad, but – even better than that – can immerse themselves in the virtual world with a VR headset.

Read more about Jim and the Curtin Simulation Program on the Study International Website!


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