Virtual Medical Center as a knowledge-sharing environment
The Virtual Medical Center (VMC) is a virtual world environment in which patients and providers can interact and collaborate. Users are represented by human-appearing computer-generated avatars and can interact through virtual conferences, through casual meetings in the common areas or lounges, or through more formal group appointments or lectures. These interactions occur in a virtual world that has the appearance of a modern medical facility, and includes features such as specialty-focused clinics, patient and provider Cybraries, informal gathering spaces, and formal conference rooms and auditoriums. Individuals can access medical information that has been validated by subject matter experts, and can even access a Virtual Medical Advisor in order to ask specific medical questions. These efforts serve the MHS quadruple aim by empowering patients with knowledge, improving patients' access to up-to-date medical information, and thus enhancing the patient's experience of care. Empowered, knowledgeable patients are better able to maintain and enhance their health, thus improving medical readiness and controlling healthcare costs.