Publication/Presentation Date



Serious Simulations

Purpose: Create realistic 3D virtual environments of LVHN medical facilities to allow
medical staff to rehearse situational responses. This will allow for increased inter
professional communication, learners to practice skills together without physically
being in the same room, and standardized process across the network.

Goal: Pilot a situational course within outpatient medical practices

Development (Facilities): Design and developed Valley Family Medical Center

Development (Scenario): Patient Experiencing Chest Pain

Results: Overall, the three pilot sessions have shown an increased interest towards this
alternative method of learning. Learners enjoyed the realistic feel of the environment and
also recognize that this learning environment allows them to practice a wide range of
skills. Most importantly, learners recognize that this method allows them to increase inter
professional communication. (Refer to Virtual World Programming to Enhance
Education of Our Health Professionals presented by Ana Maria Torres for an analytical
take on the Virtual Worlds implementation results.)

Classroom Applications

The next phase is to redesign Bridging the Gap Between Art and Medicine from a classroom experience to a virtual experience. This creates the ability for:

- Learners to attend course sessions without traveling to physical locations

- Higher class enrollment

- Greater instructor freedom

- Use of facilities not available physically

- Variety of measurement tools for performance evaluations


The Division of Education is currently evaluating two different development platforms to create these environments. The first, AvayaLive Engage is currently being used; however, the second, Unity 3D, has been considered for multiple reasons. We examined both to discover the pro’s and con’s of each (Major points listed below). In addition, we created two versions of the same course (Bridging the Gap Between Art and Medicine) in both to visually and functionally compare the two outside the written facts.

AvayaLive Engage:


- Voice chat is already included and functional

- All previously created objects can be used

- Player Identification available

- Access to Live and Historical stats


- Higher Cost

- Lower quality graphics

- Limited development resources

Unity 3D:


- Higher quality graphics

- Lower Cost

- Multiple development references


- Voice chat ability must be purchased

- Not all previously created objects are

- No ability for Live and Historical stats

Virtual Worlds Development (Handout)

Step 1: Object Creation

Through software known as Maya, objects called static meshes are developed. This software is what allows developers to create objects such as a light, chair, medical bed, or EKG machine. (Refer to From Idea to Virtual Reality presented by Andrew Wells for a more detailed object modeling and static mesh description.)

Step 2: Environment Creation

Next, software known as AvayaLive Engage is used to create a virtual environment. The environment is created using geometric shapes and by importing the static meshes created in Maya. The entire environment must be built to look realistic from the floor panels to the ceiling lights.

Step 3: Testing

Lastly, the environment is exported and placed on the server for online access. The server access allows players to explore the environment on their local computers. Currently, LVHN is using the development process to create environments for medical simulations and online Division of Education courses.


Mentor: Jason Paden


Research Scholars, Research Scholars - Posters

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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ When using this image, the credit information should be in the following format: Image courtesy of Lehigh Valley Health Network