Virtual Care Clinic Aims to Equalize Health Care – VOA Features ICT’s Virtual Doctors

Published: January 29, 2016
Category: News

The Voice of America covered the Virtual Care Clinic, the USC Center for Body Computing’s model for on-demand medical care that uses ICT technologies to help extend the reach of medical care. The story featured ICT’s Rapid Avatar Capture system.
With cameras and computers, researchers at USC ICT have been able to capture Saxon’s face and create virtual humans that not only can interact with real people, but respond with empathy, said Randall Hill, executive director of USC ICT in the story.
“We can pick up signals there that tell us whether the patient is depressed or happy or whatever,” he said. “And so we’re able to use that and create an experience — talk to the virtual human where the virtual human is able to mirror certain types of things and be able to react to the emotions in the moment.”
An avatar like this doesn’t replace real doctors — it enhances them, Hill said.
“We really view what we’re doing as extending the reach of real doctors and taking care of commonplace question answering, interviewing that does not necessarily require the deep expertise that real doctors have, but can take care of all that part before you have the interaction with the real doctor,” he said.