Avatars and virtual worlds

Suzanne Mitchell and Jeffrey Ring

in Shared Decision Making in Health Care

Published in print July 2016 | ISBN: 9780198723448
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191790096 | DOI:
Avatars and virtual worlds

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Medical Statistics and Methodology


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This chapter explores evolutions in shared decision making (SDM) in the clinical encounter within the context of a rapidly changing world of social networking and advancing technology. The time is ripe for clinicians, educators, advocates, and researchers to leverage traditional social networks and online communities for medical decision support and to make the most of learner’s willingness to engage with novel technologies in pursuit of health education and peer-derived knowledge and support. Our world is flecked with electronic social networks and Web 2.0 technologies. In this chapter, we will examine technology-driven strategies for patient and practitioner training in the skills of informed SDM and discuss how individuals are using these digital tools to navigate the complexities of medical decision making, experimenting with lifestyle changes, staying connected with peers in social networks, and building individualized learning platforms to share with others.

Keywords: Technology; virtual learning; teaching; shared decision making; virtual human

Chapter.  1914 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Medical Statistics and Methodology

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