Tuesday, May 07, 2013

3D Visualization to Revolutionize Medical and Dental Training

NHS Education for Scotland, Scotland's Health Service's training organization, recently commissioned the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio to develop a 3D Digital Head and Neck Simulator. The tool will enable medical trainees to view, manipulate, and interact with a 3D head in real-time in order to develop an understanding of the anatomy and learn diagnostic techniques and procedures. The application includes accurate visualizations of the skeleton, nervous system, blood supply, muscles, supporting tissues, and lymphatic drainage.

3D Head and Neck Muscle and Nerve Visualization
The simulator includes an interactive 3D dental training module that enables trainees to physically feel what it is like to give a local anesthetic injection, and then check that the injection was successfully and safely administered. Academics at the University of Glasgow Dental School and Department of Anatomy, as well as surgeons and teaching staff at the Centre for Health Science at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, acting as subject matter experts consulted on the project to ensure simulation accuracy.

Interactive Dental Injection Simulator
The simulator contains a virtual needle injection component, that uses haptic feedback to allow users to develop the necessary tactile sense of touch and feeling that will be required to give real-world injections.
"The 3D Digital Head and Neck has been one of the most important multidisciplinary research projects undertaken by the Digital Design Studio to date," said Paul Anderson, director of the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio.
Additional 3D teaching laboratories are currently being developed in Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness, and Stornoway, with similar laboratories are being developed in Dumfries and Aberdeen to ensure that the 3D packages are available to a wider range of students. Simulation-based training environments like these provide the education that is needed in a safe, risk-free, and affordable setting. Trainees can practice over and over until they have mastered the required techniques, resulting in more effective and successful clinical procedures.

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