The Internet Week Europe event at Kentish Town Health Centre last night seemed to be a great success. I enjoyed the other presentations very much. After introductions from Simon Brownleader and Roy MacGregor, there was a fascinating introduction to “Today I learned that…”, as new twitterish service which is mainly aimed at Doctors, which enables them to write short messages telling their followers what they have learned.
Jon Brassey explained that the messages are not restricted to 180 characters, unlike Twitter, although doctors can hashtag their tweets to TILT if they wish to, and they will be incorporated into their TILT archive. It offers other functionality too; doctors can choose to follow others, and if they learn from other people’s TILTs, they can flag them up and store those in their own archive.
It seems like a simple but brilliant idea. One of the doctors involved in the pilot said that she had, for example, learned that it may be dangerous to do the hip dysplasia test on a baby over three months old, and decided to TILT that. Obviously if that is something that a lot of GPs don’t know, it could be very useful to have it flagged up.
The talk marked the official launch of the service which can be found here.
Ann-Marie Cunningham, from Cardiff, gave a talk on the changes to our ideas of what is private and what is public, with the coming of the internet, and how doctors and medical staff need to consider their responsibilities for keeping the confidentiality of their patients. I knew that doctors must avoid identifying a patient and revealing information about them, but I hadn’t realised that they had been instructed not to reveal information that does not identify an individual. It’s hard to see how tv and radio doctors can survive if they aren’t even allowed to say “I had a patient once, who…”!
The conclusion is that we are still learning what public and private means in terms of the information on the web.
I (Fee) was the next speaker. I had to give my talk seated because my back was giving me some problems. I covered the role playing builds, simulations, information displays and explanatory builds, and the many collaborative projects. The audience seemed to enjoy the whirlwind tour of the medical builds in Second Life, and came up with some interesting questions. I was asked if there were any builds for dyslexics in Second Life. I don’t know of any specific builds, but I am sure there will be a support group.
I’ve since found a couple of links. One is to Elouise Pasteur’s website, who is a well-known scripter and developer in Second Life, who has information on her website about working with people with dyslexia although… it’s a lot of words!
Also there is some information for teachers on the use of virtual worlds for working with dyslexic children, by Shiv on Education. I will search SL later, and add SLURLs to any builds I find which may be of interest.
One of the visitors from BT health asked if the role playing and simulations could be adapted for local protocols, which was a tough question to answer succinctly (they can). A patient representative from the surgery asked if there was a possibility of using Second Life for patients, to enable them to gain advice about whether to go to the doctor or not. That is a difficult question to answer, because although there is a lot of information in Second Life, most of the medical information is currently aimed at medical students or doctors and not the patients.
Finally, after my talk the resident artists at the Kentish Town Health Centre gave a quick insight into their work. Sybella Perry who has been working there since July, told us about her blog, and how she is recording things which often the public don’t see; the process of creation and the steps towards a finished work of art. She played us a short sequence of sound which hd been recorded at an origami workshop, which was transformed by being recorded with special contact microphones on the tables. Then she played us a work in progress which matched video of a cliff face of warm sandstone and of footprints in sand on a beach with the audio from a dance workshop for Parkinson’s patients, at the centre. You can see the same film on her blog here.
It is a work in progress, and currently doesn’t have any visuals from the dance workshop, and so it had a dream-like quality, confusing image and sound. Sybilla talked about the process of creation, and how it was necessary to gain the confidence of the people she was recording, and to ensure that she had their trust before she tries to take images of the group to mix into the end result. I thought it was very interesting that blogging is allowing her audience to see the creative process as it happens, and I think that must make it easier for the patients in the classes she is observing to feel that they are part of that process, too.
Two of the artists in residence at James Wigg, are Magda Segal & Bunny Schendler. One is a stills photographer, and the other is an animator, and together they are working on a fascinating project to record 24 hours in the life of Camden High Street from Camden Town tube station to Kentish Town tube station, called Timelines. They are using stills photography to record the journey, and the animated film will be about 12 minutes long, which is more or less the time it takes to walk from one to the other.
They showed us a clip of the work in progress, which is currently about two minutes long, which was very absorbing, and so interesting that the audience asked to see it again. It’s an animated film created from stills, and it works very well. People wait outside the tube station at 5.30am for the gates to open, and litter covers the streets. The darkness lifts and a canal boat is guided through the lock, the barge owner carefully closing one half of the lock gate behind him…and we watch it open again as he descends the steps and jumps onto his barge. I can see that a year’s filming is going to capture things that people don’t normally see in the course of a journey up the High Street and many things which happen every day. The project is going to make the residents of Camden look at their High Street in a whole new way, and it made me hungry to see the finished film. I think it will be a great success.
It was a very interesting and stimulating evening, and one which I was glad to have attended as part of the first Internet Week Europe. There are still two day to go, so you may find other interesting events as part of the week here.