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Lubar and Medical College Researchers Receive $100,000 Grant to Develop Real Patient Avatars

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Researchers from the Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin received a one-year, $100,000 John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award to create real patient avatars to visit a virtual doctors’ office that exists in cyberspace, designed to link patients and physicians without a brick and mortar office visit.

The project aims to deliver health care in a three-dimensional world by through interactions of patient avatars and physician avatars.  The goal of the proposal is to build a remote-sensing system that captures patients’ physiological data and embeds that data into the virtual patient avatar.  The virtual patient could interact with a physician avatar, without the additional costs of bricks-and-mortar physician offices.  

The principal investigator is Fatemah “Mariam” Zahedi, James R. Mueller Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Information Technology Management at the Lubar School of Business.  Co-principal investigator is Reza Shaker, M.D., from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Lubar School of Business professors Hemant Jain and Huimin Zhao are senior faculty staff and Ashland University professor Nitin Walia (a Lubar PhD alumnus) is a consultant for this research project.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI.  CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions.  The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

More information on the project is detailed in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.