Anatomical Holograms: A New Approach To Study Spatial Anatomy

The beauty of 3D anatomy goes beyond the screen. In the recent decade, 3D anatomy visualization tech has been used as an instructional tool for medical students. Not only does it enable a full-dimensional visualization of the human body, but also increases student engagement with the subject. To further this learning dynamic, educators are seeking to implement holograms into lectures bringing the 3D anatomy content out of the screen and into reality with virtual reality. 

And this is great news for medical students who struggle with spatial anatomy.

Spatial anatomy is one area that can’t be efficiently explained using just static images or textbooks. By generating an environment where students can interact with anatomical structures, virtual reality allows for exploring spatial relationships of the structures in 3D space. However, despite its academic advantages, the technology poses certain risks to users’ health. 

Health Effects of Virtual Reality Headsets

One disadvantage of virtual reality is its impact on users’ consciousness after wearing the headset for a prolonged time. Some reported effects of using virtual reality headsets for too long include loss of spatial awareness, inability to differentiate between virtual vs reality space, and even physical conditions such as nausea and headache. 

Given these reasons, 3D holograms have been implemented into accredited anatomy and physiology programs. Let’s take a look at how holographic displays of human bodies can improve medical student learning abilities.

3D Anatomy Hologram Benefit 1: Increase Visibility Of The Spatial Relations Between Anatomical Structures

The spatial relation between anatomical structures is a critical concept for medical students. Being able to distinguish anatomical planes (sagittal, coronal, or transverse) is beneficial to understanding kinetic movements as they are often used to describe anatomical motions. By using 3D holograms, instructors can show how anatomical motions can be generated in each plan. 

Another benefit of using holograms is their ability to provide visual references for human diseases. For example, instructors can project a hologram of a pathology case teaching students to orient with CT scans. By learning how to determine appropriate orientations on a CT scan, students can identify which angles or plans the anatomical structures would be most visible. 

3D Anatomy Hologram Benefit 2: Headset-Free 3D Anatomy Experience

3D holograms can be projected without relying on headsets. This reduces the impact of wearing headsets on students’ health. Platforms such as Anatomage VR can produce the 3D holographic display of human bodies floating on top of the device’s screen, making it possible for students to interact with anatomical structures using their fingers. 

3D Anatomy Hologram Benefit 3: Practice Lab Activities At Home

Accessing real human bodies might not be possible outside of a lab. But with 3D holographic platforms, students can even perform cadaver dissection right at home. 

Last month, Anatomage released its latest product that allows students to interact with real bodies in virtual reality. Called Anatomage VR, the portable tablet with a touchable screen generates 3D holograms of real human anatomy. Watch the video to learn more.

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