Publication/Presentation Date




A research study has been performed in order to confirm the validity of using virtual world programming to better development of clinical skills of health professionals. The virtual world program focused on preparing health professionals for high –risk, low-volume Problem-Prone Office-based Medical Emergencies. Virtual reality simulations provide the opportunity to create a collaborative, safe learning environment where participants can refresh or learn new clinical skills needed to react efficiently and effectively to an emergency situation.

Goals & Objectives:

The goal of this analysis is to validate that the Virtual World will be a viable educational intervention for LVHN.

The following objectives detail further reasoning behind the study:

v The Virtual World provides an environment where participants can explore mistakes, test solutions, hypothesize theories, and interact with other learners.

v The Virtual World breaks down environmental and geographical barriers for medical personnel.

v The Virtual World mimics the objects and characters of their real-life predecessors.

v The Virtual World is much more cost effective $$$ compared to the thousands of dollars required to build a simulation lab.

v *Reference: Mr. Alexander Lemheney’s IRB protocol


A Design-Based Research Study has commenced in order to create reusable design principles to integrate them into the development of a solution to a practical problem in LVHN’s education system. Having our staff feel adequately prepared for office-based emergency scenarios has led us to look further into the future use of computer based 3D simulations. The most commonly occurring office-based emergencies are cardiac, respiratory, behavioral health, and neurological emergencies and therefore, the study focused on developing the skill set of the participants in these story lines.

Initial Procedure:

1) Participant will undergo a presentation of a live demo of the Virtual World and be asked for consent.

2) After the initial presentation, a 10 minute orientation activity will be hosted in order for participants to familiarize them with the Virtual World.

1) Game play will then take place for 15 minutes.

2) A post-activity questionnaire will proceed for 10 minutes

3) Lastly, a 15 minute debriefing will occur.

Our sources of our analysis emerged from:

  • Audio/Video recoding of the room where activity occurred though the Sony Handycam,HD
  • In-world recording from Principle Investigator’s computer (Camtasia studio)
  • In-world recording from Patient’s computer (Camtasia studio)
  • Additional audio file from Live Scribe Pen recording (duplicate of video audio)

Analysis & Results:

One of the most crucial areas of research that will conclude whether or not the computer program will indeed be useful for medical professionals is the analyses of the statistical data produced. Hence, great emphasis was placed in coding and examining our statistical evidence.

The visual diagrams illustrate our statistical data:

The Coding Process:

Step 1: Video sources were all compiled into a single source, four-quadrant view

using Camtasia Studio.

Step 2: Reform the transcription into a table for coding

Step 3: Identify Recurrent Themes

Step 4: Provide an interpretation of Recurrent Themes in order to provide improvements for the program

Group A:


Nurse: “And like the EKG looked nothing like our EKG. It looked like a computer.”

Possible corrections need to be made to design of EKG or better labeling

must be develop

Group B:


Nurse: “I will probably replay this in my head”

The Virtual World will be used as a memory tool for the participants

Group C:


Medical Assistant: “Like if we had an anaphylaxis I wouldn’t know what to do here.”

Some of the staff haven’t gained enough experience to know how to react towards certain situations. Hence the VR would be great for newly hired medical personnel.


The program is currently fulfilling its four main objectives. The recurrent themes have proven that the program is a valuable educational intervention. A few improvements need to be made in the design of the program, such as better labeling of the EKG and the development of a chart to keep track of the player’s actions in the VR. However, the program is already being used as a future memory tool for the participants, and is truly bringing simulated scenarios into reality for the participants. As all three groups agreed “It’s really kind of real!” The next steps will be to access the emotional tone of the participants in the following prototypes to bring greater weight to our statistical evidence.


v Special thanks to the key research personnel : Alexander Lemheney, M.Ed. (Mentor, Avatar is on the right), William Bond, MD, Jeannine Miller, RN MSN, Mary Susko, RN MSN, Matthew LeClair MS, Jason Paden BA. and Allison Seidel & Andrew Wells Research Scholars

v Thank you to the participants from: Medical Personnel from the Valley Family Medical Center, 1040 Chestnut St. Emmaus, PA

v Lastly, refer to the “A-Team’s” posters, Allison and Andrews’, for further explanation of the design & development of the VR.


Mentor: Alexander Lemheney


Research Scholars, Research Scholars - Posters


2013 Research Scholar Winner: Demonstration of Knowledge/Oral Presentation

Document Type


Rights Information

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