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FEATURES

Mixed Virtual Learning Environments for the Simulation of Head and Neck Injuries “New immersive and authentic learning environments are needed to enhance the interactive visualization and understanding of injury mechanisms in a contextualized accident history. The Visualization through Imaging and Simulation educational model is namely a mixed simulation-based virtual learning environment that aims to improve the clinical diagnosis and treatment of head and neck injuries for medical education, in particular, for specialist training in orthopedics.” 24

By Olivier Courteille, Hans von Holst & Li Felländer-Tsai The quality of clinical decision making in the treatment of trauma patients could be significantly improved by promoting the history of the accident as an important supplement to generally accepted diagnostic tools like computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MRI). However, this kind of investigation is complex and involves a biomechanical perspective in the diagnosis, a knowledge that is not part of the curriculum for physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or nurses today. This is particularly the case of injuries in the head and neck region which are often acute and multi-faceted, involving hard and soft tissues. Thus, to be able to handle these cases and decide on proper investigation and treatment procedures, medical students and residents need to be trained with more dedicated learning tools to learn the underlying anatomical and physiological, as well as biomechanical, properties of such injuries.

Figure 1: Visualizations of injury risk due to a lateral impact to the torso (red areas showing high risk for injury, © KTH head and neck model).

Educational Computer Simulation Model New immersive and authentic learning environments are thus needed to enhance the interactive visualization and understanding of injury mechanisms in a contextualized accident history. Embracing the increasing trend advocating for integrated simulations, joined efforts led by the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden gave birth to the VIS-Ed (Visualization through Imaging and Simulation) educational model. VIS-Ed is namely a mixed simulation-based virtual learning environment that aims to improve the clinical diagnosis and treatment of head and neck injuries for medical education, in particular, for specialist training in orthopedics and neurosurgery.

Figure 2: Dynamic integration of a bio-mechanical simulation into a virtual patient framework.

VIS-Ed enables a dynamic integration of a biomechanical simulation, featuring the interactive visualization of injuries, into a virtual patient (VP) framework, providing the conceptualization of accident history.

T h e O ff ic i a l Vo ice o f t h e I n te rn a t i o n a l Association

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, Issue 4 (4), Winter 2011.  

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation Magazine (C&R), the official voice of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitat...

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