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Modeling Healthcare Logistics in a Virtual World
September/October 2008 (vol. 12 no. 5)
pp. 100-104
Craig W. Thompson, University of Arkansas
Fran Hagstrom, University of Arkansas
The 3D virtual world Second Life provides a free computing platform for to terraform virtual landscapes, build imaginative buildings or spaces, meet, socialize, and collaborate. Some universities and businesses have experimented with virtual classrooms and virtual stores. This article describes the beginnings of an experiment to use Second Life as a modeling platform for understanding pervasive computing in the domain of healthcare, specifically by building a "hospital of the future," complete with virtual RFID for tracking and providing location-aware services, smart networked equipment, restocking robots and the beginnings of workflow automation for modeling many hospital business processes. The same technology could be used to optimize hospital supply chains, test technologies like RFID in a model before full scale deployment, educate and train personnel, and simulate applications in other domains like retail or battlefields. This virtual world platform gives us insight into a future world where humans can communicate with the things as easily as they do with other humans.

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Index Terms:
virtual world, Second Life, healthcare, RFID, pervasive computing, Architectural Perspectives
Citation:
Craig W. Thompson, Fran Hagstrom, "Modeling Healthcare Logistics in a Virtual World," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 100-104, Sept.-Oct. 2008, doi:10.1109/MIC.2008.106
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