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Virtual Human + Tangible Interface = Mixed Reality Human An Initial Exploration with a Virtual Breast Exam Patient

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2 Author(s)
Kotranza, A. ; Florida Univ., Gainesville ; Lok, Benjamin

Virtual human (VH) experiences are receiving increased attention for training real-world interpersonal scenarios. Communication in interpersonal scenarios consists of not only speech and gestures, but also relies heavily on haptic interaction - interpersonal touch. By adding haptic interaction to VH experiences, the bandwidth of human-VH communication can be increased to approach that of human-human communication. To afford haptic interaction, a new species of embodied agent is proposed - mixed reality humans (MRHs). A MRH is a virtual human embodied by a tangible interface that shares the same registered space. The tangible interface affords the haptic interaction that is critical to effective simulation of interpersonal scenarios. We applied MRHs to simulate a virtual patient requiring a breast cancer screening (medical interview and physical exam). The design of the MRH patient is presented. This paper also presents the results of a pilot study in which eight (n = 8) physician-assistant students performed a clinical breast exam on the MRH patient. Results show that when afforded haptic interaction with a MRH patient, users demonstrated interpersonal touch and social engagement similarly to interacting with a human patient.

Published in:

Virtual Reality Conference, 2008. VR '08. IEEE

Date of Conference:

8-12 March 2008