The Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art has teamed up with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh to create a digital immersive environment simulating the body of a patient. Using 3D visualization and special gloves that let the user feel virtual objects within the volumetric space, the system is designed to let surgeons practice complicated procedures before the actual operation:
By inputting data from computerised tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, students can practice virtual operations before making any incision for real.
The gloves allow them to touch and feel both the soft tissues and hard structures of the body in a fully-interactive, 3D environment, much like a digital hologram.
Professor Paul Anderson, from the Glasgow School of Art, said it offered an opportunity to do complex procedures over and over again.
He said: “As medical students are working with this technology, and as they progress their learning and their experience, we can ‘turn up the dial’ and put into that scene some real-time interactive challenges.
“Things can start to go wrong, or if they do do something wrong then the patient can start to respond – the health of the patient can change and students will have to react.
“So, there is an opportunity to fail here, where the patient may die, but they are failing safely and that’s interesting because that’s where some of our best learning outcomes come from.”
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