Skip to main content

Serious Games Redefining How Digital Media Is Used In Healthcare

Via: Imperial College London - Faculty Of Medicine - Medical Media and Design Laboratory (MMDL)

A new research group has been initiated headed by Professor Ara Darzi within the Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology - the
Medical Media and Design Laboratory (MMDL).

This group will study and redefine the way that new digital media is used in healthcare. It will develop and innovate within the technological fields of web science, the online metaverse, Serious Games and human interface technologies. Its focus will be on the development of novel on line technologies and how they may be best utilized for professional and public health education, medical innovation and service delivery.

Over the last 18 months a team within the Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology have established and explored ground-breaking applications for virtual worlds with a focus on innovative and efficient means for communicating complex health messages, the visualization of future healthcare delivery models, medical device development, professional networking and educational tools for patients and staff.

If new digital media is to maximize its full potential in healthcare, a multi-disciplinary approach is essential.

The MMDL is therefore developing a unique collaborative strategy that will dovetail with current research strategies across Imperial College London. It will bring together world-leading expertise from medical, scientific, computing, engineering and creative fields that will enable the MMD Lab to place an emphasis on robust and innovative interdisciplinary research that enhances how patients and clinicians access and utilize healthcare information.
Furthermore, it will establish a new mechanism for collaborative research that ensures Imperial College is able to lead the rapid technological development in this field and maximize the commercial potential of research output where appropriate.

Virtual Worlds and Web 2.0

Simultaneous advances in web 2.0 and computer gaming technologies have led to the wide spread adoption of virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds present advantages over other e-learning formats as they permit role play, low cost simulation and collaboration which can occur in a visually compelling environment

The Department of Biosurgery and Surgical Technology (BSST) has therefore initiated a number of work streams and projects to utilise Virtual Worlds. These are broadly encapsulated by the themes of professional and patient education, collaboration and health strategy.

Second Health - Shaping the Future of Healthcare

Second Health is located in the SciLands, a specialized region of Second Life for Science, Technology and Educational applications.

The Second Health London Local Community Hospital and Polyclinic are now open for you to explore.



This is an experimental, innovative and efficient means of communicating complex healthcare messages as well as illustrating what healthcare of the future could look like.

The design of the virtual hospital in Second Health is based on the principles and recommendations outlined in the recently published
Healthcare for London: A Framework for Action.