A serious tamagotchi for doctors

The paper proposes an innovative approach for applying Serious Games concepts in developing a new generation of agent driven models devoted to support and renew the educational processes in Health Care; this research is devoted to develop new models of virtual humans to be used as patients to play a distributed simulation game with students for teaching concepts about the continuous cure of subject; the research goal is to create a strong relationship among medical doctor students and their set of personal virtual patients, driven by intelligent agents: in this way it is possible to reproduce the patient life cycles and to teach the students on subjects such as pathology evolution, preventive actions, symptoms identification and human relationships

MARIA (Model for Advanced and Realistic patient simulation driven by Intelligent Agents) is the solution developed by the authors and it represents a big innovation in the educational programs for health students enabled by new technologies. MARIA is a virtual patient driven by an IA (Intelligent Agent) on central servers and able to dynamically interact with students through web and mobile solutions; by this solution it is possible to assign to each students one or more MARIAs able to request assistance 24/7 through several channels (i.e. email, sms); this will be probably the first time an health student will have to continuously interact with same patient with his own characteristics, behavior and pathologies; MARIA life cycle could be accelerated, so a student is entitled to experience within two year course 80 years of a virtual patient and to watch his growth, trying to correct attitudes and behaviors in order to support prevention.

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