Immersive Reality Tool for Learning Anatomy and Physiology


Presentation Title:

  • Immersive Reality Tool for Learning Anatomy and Physiology




  • The human body is a complex system of anatomical structures critical to normal function of existence. Doctors in training are educated in both normal and disordered anatomy and physiology. Given that the human framework, intrinsic and extrinsic musculature, and nervous innervation are not easily visualized, helping students attain that knowledge can be challenging. For the majority of students, viewing photographs and illustrations represents the norm, and may be augmented by videos. Further, simply viewing this form of material does not offer significant opportunity for students to “interact” with it, nor to adequately conceptualize it in three dimensions. The collaborative efforts of medical expert Jerry Moon, computer science specialist Joseph Kearney and 3D animator Peter Chanthanakone teamed up to develop an immersive reality tool for learning anatomy and physiology. Using Oculus Rift (Oculus VR, LLC), the proof of concept was created. Further development includes 1) improving user navigation through the vocal tract by implementing tissue boundaries, joystick control, 2) improving graphics to more realistically represent tissue walls, oral cavity anatomy, etc., 3) developing realistic animations representing vocal fold opening, closing, and vibratory patterns, and 4) exploring the use of the smartphone as an alternate app platform. This presentation will show the ways collaboration of science, technology and art are creating new, rich and undefined virtual future.