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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Virtual Empathy Simulator from Curtin University

empathy simulator

Press play, and meet “Jim”. Jim is a virtual reality creation, designed to simulate patients for healthcare sector trainees. With the alternatives of professional placement in real-life clinical situations or the use of actors proving too costly or impractical, this is a high-tech solution that really looks ahead. This project was winner of the Innovation in Education Prize, supported by Teaching and Learning, Curtin University.

“Initially, the avatar is controlled by a trainer who chooses its responses based on the student’s verbal and non-verbal behaviours. This interaction between the student and ‘Jim’ is recorded for reflection and feedback so that the student is supported and educated with increasing levels of independent responsibility in their management of medically challenging communications,” Dr Beilby said.

“This provides standard experiences for all students with the opportunity for repeated practice in a safe environment.

“The aim is for the student to achieve competence before having real-life interactions with the general public.”

Learn more at the Curtin University Website!

i-Human Patients Video Interview from IMSH 2015 – Virtual Patients Provide Obvious Educational Benefits

i human patients

Continuing our video series from IMSH 2015, we take a look at i-Human Patients a Software As A Service (SAAS) that enables educators to provide realistic virtual patient encounters for healthcare students in a variety of disciplines. The software is very intuitive and easy to use — maximizing learning time on a variety of case statements. What’s important to remember here is that i-Human Patients adds an additional level of fidelity for your learners, as not all “simulation” needs to be accomplished through a high-fidelity manikin. While obviously the physical interaction and communication practices are better suited for the sim lab, the didactic reasoning and assessment “cognitive” practice opportunities can be repeated faster and with perhaps greater accuracy through a software platform like i-Human Patients (if for no other reason than the setup/teardown time of engaging with task trainers and manikins). Watch our video interview from IMSH 2015 to learn more:

About i-Human Patients:

Active learning is proven to be more effective than more passive approaches where much is done on behalf of the student. Educators can choose existing cases targeting different experience levels. They can also author their own cases using the i-Human Patients point-and-click authoring system and medical multimedia repository. The breadth and depth of possible cases provide a full and consistent quality education. The scalable, low-cost online technology enables rapid deployment within a school and across remote locations.

  • Active, realistic learning
  • Symptoms-based approach to diagnostic reasoning
  • Individualized feedback and coaching
  • Objective competency evaluation
  • Point-and-click authoring system
  • Rich medical multimedia repository

Cases: Database, Authoring and Sharing

  • Large Variety Of Patient Cases Available – Over 100 published cases (M1-M4 class years) to select from including free “Share and Share Alike” cases and “Premium” cases sponsored by the AMA
  • Point-And-Click Authoring System – Included so instructors can easily create their own cases
  • Create & Share Derivative Works – Create & share derivative works under a Creative Commons “Share & Share Alike” license

i-Human Patients enables students to:

  • take patient histories – learning what questions to ask, and how to interpret then follow-up on relevant findings
  • take and assess vital signs
  • select physical exams and interpret findings
  • select and prioritize differential diagnoses
  • order and associate tests with differential diagnoses, and interpret test findings
  • develop treatment plans
  • review and write patient records
  • and get feedback and coaching at every step of the way!

One of the opportunities I appreciate most about i-Human Patient’s authoring platform is the ability to find and share created patient cases through the system itself. What a wonderful way for the participating community to work together towards better teaching outcomes. I hear you will be able to read reviews from current users of i-Human Patient (like Rush Medical Center, Rosalind Franklin University and Drexel University), shortly on Konsiderate.com – the new home for medical simulation product ratings and reviews, but more on that shortly.

Learn more about this Virtual Patient Software at the i-Human Patients website today!


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