Personal Health Records and Second Life

In his twit Peter Murray asked about ideas connecting Personal Health Records (PHR) and Second Life. One idea that came to my mind is to offer a service that helps someone to understand and to find out more about the subjects concerning their personal health issues.

This idea was triggered by the infobuttons described by J. Cimino and a talk and podcast made available by Jean-Claude Bradley telling how he uses Second Life for teaching chemistry. He describes how info obelisks are used as gathering points for students interested in a specific subject. Since they can communicate and discuss the subject with other students gathering at the same info obelisk this greating enhances possibilities for learning. (See the presentation by Jean-Claude Bradley).

The same ideas can be applied to the PHR. Next to each information in the PHR is an infobutton offering links (slurls) to info obelisks in Second Life or similar web 3d environments. Any person following such a link from his PHR will find an obelisk that explains the subject he started from in the PHR. At the place this person can discuss the information with other users or maybe experts also gathering at the obelisk because they can be seen and can talk to each other in Second Life. This way the visit to the info-obelisk in Second Life can serve just as a means to get more information but at the same time to socialize with persons interested in the same topic. They could even build a small ad hoc support group offering help to each other. Another advantage could be that information or advice can be asked from other persons in the disguise of an avatar. Thus topics that are not talked about easily can be rather freely communicated.


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