Huge ‘holograms’ offer medics more memorable classes

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 9.30.40 AMA system which uses an illusionary effect to help medical students master their subject has been pioneered by two London-based junior doctors.

They have demonstrated a 3D graphic of a kidney measuring 4m (13 ft) to demonstrate renal function at a “test lecture” last week.

It was one of a series of hologram-like animations they are developing.

However, the university which hosted the event, said it was not ready to be rolled out yet.

“The cost would be prohibitively expensive,” said a spokesman for St George’s, University of London. “It’s more a proof-of-concept at this stage.”

 

Optical illusions

The effects were developed by Dr Kapil Sugand, who works at St George’s Hospital and Imperial College London, and Dr Pedro Campos from St George’s Hospital.

The animations are not true holograms, but are rather based on an illusion called Pepper’s Ghost which uses glass or foil combined with special lighting techniques to make objects appear in mid-air.

They said they wanted to make it easier for students to absorb the large amount of detail necessary to pass their exams. Medical students can attend up to nine hours of lectures per day and typically study for six years in order to qualify.

“Research in educational sciences has shown the attention span of the average student is 20 to 30 minutes, but standard lectures are at least an hour,” Dr Sugand told the BBC.

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 9.30.49 AM“The human body is a very complex machine. It’s very difficult to comprehend and appreciate how a kidney or liver functions, for example, from Powerpoint slides.”

The images are all animated and can be controlled by the lecturer.

Three projectors are used to generate the full colour images on stage and they are designed to be used in a large auditorium.

While a “holographic “human body has previously been trialled in an anatomy class at Imperial College, it was not intended for a mass audience, said Dr Sugand.

“This could be a way to teach surgical procedures to a large group of trainees quite easily,” he added.

The pair have spent £10,000 building up a small library of 3D animation lecture aids – including a sequence which outlines the various effects of malaria on different parts of the human body.

Funding came from the universities where they work, and also Dr Campos’s parents.

 

Teething problems

Technical problems prevented the first test – scheduled for last Wednesday – from working, but an event later in the week was more successful.

Screen shot 2013-06-21 at 9.30.58 AMThe response from first year medical students at St George’s, University of London, was positive.

“We spend a lot of time looking through textbooks and listening to lectures to try to get our heads round the subjects and I think this would make a lot of medical areas easier to understand,” said Hannah Barham.

Andrew Salmon added: “As a concept it’s fantastic, but I don’t think it will replace the traditional kind of lecture at the moment though as it’s not as customisable.”

Dr Sugand acknowledged that the animations were intended to be an extra tool, and would not be a substitute for using dead bodies.

“Nothing can substitute dissecting a cadaver – it is the optimal and most traditional way of learning anatomy,” he explained.

“But multimedia has become a way of complementing, not replacing, that process.”

 

 

 

Source : BBC News | June 18, 2013

Advertisements

About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
This entry was posted in Medical Devices, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s