Yong Pei, Ph.D. (Advisor); Paul J. Hershberger, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Thomas Wischgoll, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Master of Science (MS)
Promoting awareness of social determinants of health (SDoH) among healthcare providers is important to improve the patient care experience and outcome as it helps providers understand their patients in a better way which can facilitate more efficient and effective communication about health conditions. Healthcare professionals are typically educated about SDoH through lectures, questionaries, or role-play-based approaches; but in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly possible to leverage modern technology to create more impactful and accessible tools for SDoH education. Wright LIFE (Lifelike Immersion for Equity) is a simulation-based training tool especially created for this purpose. It is a mobile app that would be available on both Google Play and Apple Store for easy access to the providers. This highly realistic, interactive, and captivating app is essential for creating mindfulness about SDoH and generating long-lasting compassion and empathy in health care workers for their real patients and helping them to build a good clinician-patient relationship. An important aspect of this simulation is the realism of the characters and their behavior. This thesis specifically focuses on the strategy and experience of designing and developing realistic human character models and animations so that the players connect naturally and deeply with the virtual characters. This contributes to the generation of a greater level of empathy in the providers and decreases the level of biases. In addition to its contribution to creating efficient design methodologies, this effort also resulted in a portfolio of high-quality, low-memory multi-modal avatars resembling diverse people of various ethnicities, ages, body types, and gender.
Department or Program
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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