A SERIOUS GAME FOR MULTIMODAL TRAINING OF PHYSICIAN NOVICES

Y. Rybarczyk1, G. Carrasco1, T. Cardoso1, I. Pavão Martins2

1FCT - Universidade Nova de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
2Faculdade de Medicine de Lisboa - Laboratório de Estudos de Linguagem (PORTUGAL)
Serious games are usually applied to cognitive learning. However, the development of recent natural user interfaces (NUI) enables us to use serious games for a more holistic training. This project proposes to implement an educative game that teaches medical students how to carry out a neurological examination. The purpose is to improve not only the cognitive knowledge of the young physicians but also their sensorimotor skills.

The game takes place in a virtual doctor office, which is modelled in 3D. Many possible clinical cases related to different neurologic diseases are simulated. The users are tested at two skill levels. First of all, they have to choose the right exam according to the patient’s symptoms. This initial stage is used to assess the theoretical expertise of the students. If the choice is correct, the physical examination begins. In order to evaluate the motor performance, a Kinect NUI is used. Such a device allows for the natural and intuitive control of the doctor’s avatar because there is a direct link between the individual’s and the avatar’s joints. Due to the fact that the real movements of the student are recorded with some accuracy, it is possible to gauge whether or not the medical gesture is properly applied to the virtual patient. In particular, the force and the precision of the movements are measured and compared to reference values.

After each examination immediate feedback is given, so that the learners may rectify their choices and the quality of their motor skills at the next training session. Overall, the objective of this software is to enable the future physicians to practice a basic medical exam on a wide scope of neurologic disorders, without any risk for the patients and through an enjoyable approach.