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The Virtual Radiopharmacy - a mindful learning environment

Deliverables

The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year. Human "presence" will be achieved by adding interactive distance teaching via satellite. The Consortium will collaborate with other IST RTD projects in order to develop this dimension. VirRAD has agreed in principle to collaborate with TWISTER, Rural Wings and a number of EUMEDIS & European Space Agency funded projects that are working in this field. VirRAD is also looking to add an advanced multi-user virtual reality environment to VirRAD's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Similarly VirRAD's simulated laboratories will be significantly developed using state of the art augmented, mixed and virtual reality techniques. In this area we are collaborating with ARTEC-University of Bremen, MedicLab-UPV, Systema SL, Digital Elite (USA) and possibly the FET Presence (I & II) RTD communities. CTI has also demonstrated the lab prototype to a number of Greek educational and medical organisations. As a result CTI is now working with Greek schools and hospital in order to develop virtual chemistry and physics laboratories for them.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year. Human "presence" will be achieved by adding interactive distance teaching via satellite. The Consortium will collaborate with other IST RTD projects in order to develop this dimension. VirRAD has agreed in principle to collaborate with TWISTER, Rural Wings and a number of EUMEDIS & European Space Agency funded projects that are working in this field. VirRAD is also looking to add an advanced multi-user virtual reality environment to VirRAD's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Similarly VirRAD's simulated laboratories will be significantly developed using state of the art augmented, mixed and virtual reality techniques. In this area we are collaborating with ARTEC-University of Bremen, MedicLab-UPV, Systema SL, Digital Elite (USA) and possibly the FET Presence (I & II) RTD communities. In addition to these activities, the University of Lancaster will use the results of this specific research and development to advance best practice in the global TEL and eLearning communities.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year. Human "presence" will be achieved by adding interactive distance teaching via satellite. The Consortium will collaborate with other IST RTD projects in order to develop this dimension. VirRAD has agreed in principle to collaborate with TWISTER, Rural Wings and a number of EUMEDIS & European Space Agency funded projects that are working in this field. VirRAD is also looking to add an advanced multi-user virtual reality environment to VirRAD's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Similarly VirRAD's simulated laboratories will be significantly developed using state of the art augmented, mixed and virtual reality techniques. In this area we are collaborating with ARTEC-University of Bremen, MedicLab-UPV, Systema SL, Digital Elite (USA) and possibly the FET Presence (I & II) RTD communities. In addition to these activities, the University of Lancaster will use the results of this specific research and development to advance best practice in the global TEL and eLearning communities.
The VirRAD 3D Lab provides a simulated Laboratory that allows members of the radiopharmacy community to perform radiopharmaceutical experiments in a 3D virtual environment. The Virtual Laboratory supports all the basic actions that can take place in a real Laboratory through a friendly-to-use and simple but realistic user interface. 3D Lab users are able to interact not only with the equipment provided in the Virtual Laboratory, but also with other users that can participate in the same space. In addition, through communication and collaboration channels the users are motivated to work together to obtain a higher level of understanding. Within this Laboratory, learners are represented by 3D avatars that can experiment on radiopharmacy, equipment by carrying out specific learning scenarios. The Laboratory tries to simulate not only the spatial model of a real radiopharmacy Laboratory but also the actions that take place in such an environment. Furthermore, avatars and avatars' gestures, functions such as perception, localization, identification and visualization of these actions have been fully exploited. The user can access the Virtual Laboratory in (a) standalone mode to carry out specific radiopharmacy scenarios; (b) the multi-user mode where individuals can meet mentors and/or other learners; and (c) to carry out specific radiopharmacy scenarios in learner modelling mode where assistance is offered to the learner by informing them of major and minor errors. In the study mode the user can interact with the environment without the presence of other users; whilst in the multi-user mode the user can see other users that are present and interact with them by gestures, text chat, audio chat. By using the arrow buttons of the keyboard the avatar can navigate within the virtual environment to carry out specific radiopharmacy scenarios and activate and manipulate objects within the Laboratory. Each object has its own range of movements controlled by the right mouse click; this generates a menu that contains a list of possibilities to activate the object. If the user chooses an incorrect action a warning message appears on the screen. This functionality indicates that the virtual laboratory environment surpasses the framework of a native environment and is characterized by the interaction between the end user and the system. Special attention in the design of this Virtual Laboratory has created an easy and friendly interface that can be used by anyone. The Project has gained general experience in designing and creating low-polygon 3D environments, namely objects, texturing and animation for use in Realtime 3D engines, in particular for the Macromedia Director Shockwave 3D technology. This is currently being used in an Austrian Project "The Perception Laboratory". It was found that there are particular limitations in the distribution of the 3D Laboratory over the Internet and its usage by browser / plug-in technology. Within the UK, the courseware and VR lab will be used to deliver a part of the MPharm and post-graduate diploma Radiopharmacy courses at King's College, London in future years. At the time of reporting, discussions are underway with a private Greek School to exploit 3D multi-user technology in secondary education to enhance collaborative e-Learning as well as being used to Train the Trainers. In addition, the Virtual Laboratory facility has now been integrated into the undergraduate program at the University of Alberta, Canada, Faculty of Pharmacy. Similarly the facility will be incorporated into radiopharmaceutical courseware in nuclear medicine programmes in Belgium and Portugal. Whilst the VirRAD Project has only been used within the framework of radiopharmacy, the concept of virtual reality environments has potential in other areas of education for medics and professionals. For instance, dentistry or other dangerous environments such as encountered in the oil and gas industry and in military training could be explored in virtual space as a prelude to on site training.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year. Human "presence" will be achieved by adding interactive distance teaching via satellite. The Consortium will collaborate with other IST RTD projects in order to develop this dimension. VirRAD has agreed in principle to collaborate with TWISTER, Rural Wings and a number of EUMEDIS & European Space Agency funded projects that are working in this field. VirRAD is also looking to add an advanced multi-user virtual reality environment to VirRAD's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Similarly VirRAD's simulated laboratories will be significantly developed using state of the art augmented, mixed and virtual reality techniques. In this area we are collaborating with ARTEC-University of Bremen, MedicLab-UPV, Systema SL, Digital Elite (USA) and possibly the FET Presence (I & II) RTD communities. In addition to these activities, the University of Lancaster will use the results of this specific research and development to advance best practice in the global TEL and eLearning communities.
Our dissemination and concentration activities led to VirRAD opening a dialogue with a European University, which led to meetings with their spin-off companies. The dialogues led to the discovery of a problem with funding European high risk, fast growth, spin-off and breakaway companies, which led to two commercial opportunities. VirRAD Executives are engaged in writing an Investment Proposal Document for sourcing equity investment funds for the University's spin-off companies and sourcing the equity investment funds needed. The exercise led to discussions with a number of private-institutional investors about the formation of a New Venture Capital Fund and Fund Management Company, specialising in the provision of investment in and external management of technology spin-off companies. The details of the discussions are confidential and will not be made available at this time.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year. Human "presence" will be achieved by adding interactive distance teaching via satellite. The Consortium will collaborate with other IST RTD projects in order to develop this dimension. VirRAD has agreed in principle to collaborate with TWISTER, Rural Wings and a number of EUMEDIS & European Space Agency funded projects that are working in this field. VirRAD is also looking to add an advanced multi-user virtual reality environment to VirRAD's virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Similarly VirRAD's simulated laboratories will be significantly developed using state of the art augmented, mixed and virtual reality techniques. In this area we are collaborating with ARTEC-University of Bremen, MedicLab-UPV, Systema SL, Digital Elite (USA) and possibly the FET Presence (I & II) RTD communities.
The drivers-plans for the exploitation of VirRAD are sustainability and the future development of the Project’s virtual learning-knowledge-practice community. Sustainability is the key issue. Without that the mid-long term objectives are unachievable and considerable emphasis has been placed upon VirRAD immediate "sustainable" future. The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has agreed to host the platform on the EANM web servers and to support its use and further development for the immediate future. We will use this opportunity to explore the usefulness of the platform unencumbered by the restrictions of a formal research programme. The system has been continually evolving in response to the needs of the programme and the aspirations of the consortium, which has been confusing for the users. We now need a period of stability in which users can become familiar with the platform and we can make a real-life assessment of its benefits. This assessment will take place over the next year.