The idea of a clinical visit in a “virtual world” populated by realistic computerized mannequins may seem farfetched. But Ivana Steigman, M.D., offered a glimpse into a potential clinical world of the future at HIMSS12. Steigman is chief medical officer at Thrive Research, a software development company that’s building communications platforms utilizing virtual reality and related technologies.

In the virtual reality setting, a person either navigates a digitized world wearing special goggles that offer a realistic display of a certain setting, or by logging onto a Web site, then interacting with the screen using voice commands.

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