The HoloLens, a form of augmented reality, or AR, tech, brings holograms into real spaces, allowing users to walk around while viewing and maneuvering 3D images in addition to seeing the people and objects that are really there. The images are created from full-body CT scans, which can be viewed section by section as a user scrolls through a menu to find the body system or part they want to review.
Grace and his peers are currently utilizing the HoloLens technology to create interactive anatomy visualization guides for incoming medical students.
Kyle Rarey, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy and cell biology, said adding tech to anatomy instruction increases students’ recall and better prepares them for careers caring for patients.
“By accommodating these different modalities of learning, students can have more perspective and depth during their anatomy instruction,” he said.
Rarey said UF is leading the charge in making both traditional cadaver dissection and virtual dissections using CT scans available to students. He said UF’s anatomy lab of the future would likely include one AR headset at each station, so that students can work together to explore the body in different ways. One team member might perform a dissection on the cadaver while another performs the same moves virtually using a 3D model and a different team member reviews the information on a computer screen.
“The goal is to to create an environment to enhance learning and to have it be hands-on,” Rarey said. “The integration of AR technology with the traditional method of dissection can increase student peer teaching and the retention and recall of anatomy.”