Proceedings of "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2000" highlight role of Virtual Reality in patient-practitioner dialogue

Amsterdam 29 August 2000


Newport Beach's Marriott Hotel in California hosted the eighth edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event from January 27th till 30th 2000. The conference proceedings have been published as the 70th volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This year's edition contains seventy-five presentations, introduced by a selection of international participants to the MMVR 2000 platform, under the common theme "Envisioning Healing: Interactive Technology and the Patient-Practitioner Dialogue".

In the foreword, Dr. William LeRoy Heinrichs, Professor Emeritus and Past Chair of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at Stanford University, aims at translating the centuries-old doctor-patient relationship, based on mutual trust, respect, and an often tacit spiritual influence, to the fast changing medical universe, which today is gradually being conquered by a huge variety of Information Technology and Virtual Reality applications. In this novel light of high-tech health care, the Internet-savvy patient is seeking for support, understanding, comfort, and restoration on-line. As a result, we see the birth of virtual communities on the Web, consisting of people sharing similar health care experiences.

The studies presented in the MMVR 2000 proceedings, show a nice balance between American and European research, mostly academic, in the areas of surgical simulation and training for various medical specialities, computer assisted surgery, pre- and intra-operative planning and performance, human interfaces for rehabilitation, advanced modelling and imaging software, and telemedical networking. Four papers have been written by Asian scientists, and one is delivered by a Canadian team. In Europe, VR research is mainly concentrated in Germany and the United Kingdom, with Italy, France, and Spain as runners-up, at least according to the impression which is offered by this book.

Two papers address some surprising applications, describing a virtual reality system for hand acupuncture treatment or sujichim, conducted at home in Korea, and a simulation system for interdental tooth cleaning, developed at Karlsruhe University in Germany. One paper is dedicated to a Californian experiment using virtual instrumentation to measure the mental workload of doctors performing a video-endoscopic surgery. Two Italian studies deal with the crucial role of the Internet and Virtual Reality in psychotherapy. In the MMVR 2000 proceedings however, papers demonstrating the use of Virtual Reality training, simulation, as well as pre-operative planning systems for laparoscopic and minimally invasive interventions, neurosurgery, cranio-maxillo-facial surgery, prostate biopsy, and cardiology are predominant.

  • Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2000 - Envisioning Healing: Interactive Technology and the Patient-Practitioner Dialogue
  • Edited by James D. Westwood, Helene M. Hoffman, Greg T. Mogel, Richard A. Robb and Don Stredney.
  • Published by IOS/Ohmsha Press - Amsterdam/Berlin/Oxford/Tokyo/Washington, DC
  • 2000 - 402 p.
  • ISBN 1 58603 014 0
  • Available from Marcella Janmaat at IOS Press - Van Diemenstraat 94 - 1013 CN Amsterdam - The Netherlands
    Phone: +31-20-638-2189 - Fax: +31-20-620-3419 - E-mail:

Leslie Versweyveld

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