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Darzi gets a Second Life

By Steve Nowottny

Health Minister Lord Ara Darzi officially entered a parallel universe today.

As hundreds of NHS managers and clinicians attended an International Clinical Summit in London, as part of Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review, a simultaneous conference was held online in the ‘virtual world' Second Life.

Around 25 delegates attended the online event, hosted in an open-air auditorium in front of the ‘Second Health Hospital', a virtual building based around Lord Darzi's integrated Healthcare for London model.

Lord Darzi himself was forced to pull out of today's Second Life and ‘First Life' conferences at the last minute, due to parliamentary commitments. But he sent a video message of support, giving a ‘special mention' to internet participants.

The delegates, many of whom were NHS staff and some of whom described themselves as ‘polyclinicians', listened attentively to the video presentations and were given the opportunity to ask facilitators questions.

The audience also included a woman with a monster's head, and a flying winged angel – as well as an elderly bearded doctor in a white coat, wearing a virtual stethoscope.

Doctors on the media forum of Doctors.net.uk, however, were largely unimpressed.

‘Well, it'll make a change from running virtual consultations in a real world,' said one GP.

How a polyclinic looks in Second Life Inside the polyclinic Sparse attendance at the venue on Second Life The second life venue The event was certainly uplifting for one participant Flying man Lord Darzi's avatar looks remarkably like the man himself. Darzi image

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