• Student talking to the avatar on a screen. Photo credit: Curtin UniversityStudent talking to the avatar on a screen. Photo credit: Curtin University

Curtin University develop avatar to transform healthcare training

Academics at Curtin University in Perth have developed a life-like avatar of an elderly man with dementia to assist students in their healthcare training. It is hoped that ‘Jim’ will help students to develop their interpersonal and rapport-building clinical skills before they work with real clients.

Dr Beilby, from Curtin’s School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, said that ‘Jim’ is “controlled by a trainer who chooses its responses based on the student’s verbal and non-verbal behaviour”. The avatar will challenge students to deal with situations such as putting a client at ease, managing clients who are depressed or confused and delivering bad news.

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