What is Anatomic VisualizeR© ?
The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has been actively exploring the role of VR for education and has focused on the potential synergism arising from combining VR with traditional curricular resources. This research and development effort has produced "Anatomic VisualizeR©", a multimodal 3D environment where VR serves both as the lesson core and as the interface for diverse learning resources and reference materials.
Anatomic VisualizeR© manages the display and allows real-time interaction of any lesson resource (3D models,2D images, video, etc.) within its VR environment. Students using VisualizeR can:
- intuitively manipulate & explore anatomic models
- use tools & techniques beyond those possible in the real world
- learn through exploration & hands-on experience
Anatomic VisualizeR© provides an intuitive virtual workspace where students are able to "dissect" 3D anatomic models and access a broad range of supporting resource elements (diagrams, images text, video, etc.). It can support lessons which are case-based, anatomy dissector-based, or a mixture of both.
Anatomic VisualizeR© includes a faculty-authored Study Guide which provides key concepts, suggested exercises, and links to a wide variety of clinical correlates and contextually-linked domains of medical science (histology, pathology, radiology, etc.).
Critical to the study of anatomy, anatomic orientation becomes nearly intuitive as the student constantly refers peripherally to an avatar-like floating tool ("Grace") which continuously corresponds to the model/modelset of choice. Anatomic orientation can be maintained regardless of view or magnification and anatomic position may be reestablished through a toolbar option.
The Study Guide and Toolbars provide the syntax for users to navigate, manipulate and interact with the application and its resources. A broad range of virtual exploratory tools and options are available which enable users to investigate structures in ways not possible in the real world. Students are able to repeatedly "dissect" structures and regions, or to reconstruct any area from its component parts.
Tool options available to users include:
- link/unlink models
- change opacity/transparency
- scale models
- dynamically create cross-sectional views using one or more clipping planes
- measure sizes and distances with a virtual ruler
- label structures with flag markers
- identify structures using a probe tool, and
- draw 3D lines using a space draw tool.
Based on UCSD's VisualizeR architecture, Anatomic VisualizeR© can support multiple types of visual display (monoscopic CRT, stereoscopic CRT and full-immersion) and input options (gloves, 3D trackball and mouse).
Currently utilizing 3D models of human anatomy built in-house and derived from NLM's Visible Human dataset as well as Visible Productions models, Anatomic VisualizeR© is also capable of utilizing a variety of other 3D polygonal models.
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