‘Anatomy Next’, a Latvian startup which provides digitalized and interactive anatomy education for medical students, has teamed up with Microsoft and the University of Washington to bring their pilot project to students.
One of ‘Anatomy Next’ founders, Sandis Kondrats (pictured above) was surprised to learn that medical students in this technological age are using relatively dated learning tools. All over the world, regardless of country, students are still learning from books and slides, which is counterintuitive considering how technologically literate young people are today.
After being part of a different project, the publication of the book “Anatomy for Sculptors”, Sandis recognized the opportunity to use anatomical images in medical education, and began realizing his idea. Both Microsoft and one of the United States' most prestigious universities in the field of medicine, the University of Washington, showed interest to collaborate. Together with its partners, 'Anatomy Next' has given the opportunity to 50 students in the University of Washington School of Dentistry the chance to use virtual reality in their anatomy studies.
To review and discuss their experience using the virtual reality tool, 'Anatomy Next' invited professionals from various medical institutions as well as the students who used the tool to the University of Washington's 'CoMotion Labs'. Over four weeks the 50 students used the virtual reality tool in an anatomy course focusing on the head and neck. For 48 students, this was their first time using virtual reality, and they all agreed that this was a useful tool for their learning.
Lecturers also shared positive reviews. They admitted that they would prefer if students were more prepared when entering the laboratory. With this virtual reality solution, students were more prepared; they had the chance to explore anatomy in 3D, using high quality 3D models and images. Considering the fact that human error is a prevalent cause of death in the field of medicine, 'Anatomy Next' is hoping to market their tool not only to students, but even to experienced doctors.