A Second Life for eHealth

Categories: Latest News and Terminology.

The full title of this item is A Second Life for eHealth: Prospects for the Use of 3-D Virtual Worlds in Clinical Psychology. (If you are not up to speed with what Second Life is, read this Wikipedia entry.)

The article (Gorini A, Gaggioli A, Vigna C, Riva G A Second Life for eHealth: Prospects for the Use of 3-D Virtual Worlds in Clinical Psychology J Med Internet Res 2008;10(3):e21) concludes that, owing to the anonymity such encounters offer people seeking help “…3-D virtual worlds, used as an adjunct to face-to-face settings, may represent a valid opportunity for the future developments in eHealth. Our hope is that the present paper will stimulate a discussion within the research community about the potential, the limitations, and the risks that this emerging medium offers for cybertherapy applications.”

Just because the consultation between client/patient and the health professional is entirely mediated by technology, I’m not at all sure whether it is appropriate to construe this as telecare, even in its broadest sense: hence the ‘terminology’ category tag.

This is one for when you have time to read and ponder.