Digital empathic healthcare: designing virtual interactions for human-centered experiences

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The evolution of the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients towards patient-centered care has emphasized the importance of understanding patients’ perspectives, values, and needs. This shift has transformed decision-making from a technical standpoint to a more holistic approach integrating moral influences, driven by empathy. This research explores the transformative role of empathy, facilitated by Virtual Reality (VR) technology, in healthcare practitioners’ interactions with patients. Inspired by VR's immersive capabilities, the novel specification entitled the Digital Empathic Design Voyage is presented as a foundation for operational virtual environments that empower humans to experience empathy. Through outcomes from literature and a qualitative study, this paper determines appropriate digital environment interactions relevant to a healthcare scenario. The research envisions a deeper understanding of patients, fostering human-oriented healthcare practices and solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Health and Wireless Solutions
Subtitle of host publicationFirst Nordic Conference, NCDHWS 2024 Oulu, Finland, May 7–8, 2024 Proceedings, Part I
EditorsMariella Särestöniemi, Pantea Keikhosrokiani, Daljeet Singh, Erkki Harjula, Aleksei Tiulpin, Miia Jansson, Minna Isomursu, Mark van Gils, Simo Saarakkala, Jarmo Reponen
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031590801
ISBN (Print)9783031590795
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2024
EventNordic Conference on Digital Health and Wireless Solutions - Oulu, Finland
Duration: 7 May 20248 May 2024

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


ConferenceNordic Conference on Digital Health and Wireless Solutions
Internet address


  • empathy
  • virtual reality
  • digital healthcare


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