University of Salamanca (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 1119-1128
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0416
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
Virtual reality (VR) systems are one of the most widely used technologies in university teaching, due to the development of mobile and stereoscopic vision devices with VR headsets. These technologies create an immersive environment, transforming the images perceived by each eye in real time into a stereoscopic or three-dimensional image, with great depth perception and excellent technical quality.

We present a teaching experience with 3D glasses, to see the different parts of the brain, facilitating the understanding and analysis of every bone in the skull, in three-dimensions and in any spatial position. Therefore, the user has a sense of depth that makes it impossible to achieve with images from books and anatomy atlases. Our purpose with this application is for the user (student, resident, teacher) to interact with the system by assessing the cranial bone structures.

To reconstruct the skull, serial sections were used using a Toshiba computed tomography (CT). Then a 3D model was generated from these images, applying the marching cubes algorithm.

Once we had the model, we used the game engine Unity3D to create the software that allows students to have a virtual experience. Our application was developed for the Samsung Gear VR Headset, available for different Samsung devices. The headset has a small tactile panel with a hardware tool to interact with the user.

The result is a training tool for the study and learning of cranial bones, to assess their distribution, morphology and relationship. Incorporating different animations and special effects in the application allows the user to have a 3D virtual experience, dynamic and immersive, that helps better understand the anatomy of these cranial structures.

Our application has a guided tour through the skull, both from the outside and inside. The user can go through the different parts of the skull while listening to explanations of what is seen, to help understand the morphological contents described.

The final result of this virtual application is an entertaining experience with which the user can study the different brain structures that make up the skull in a more attractive and efficient way than using the traditional study techniques. Furthermore, the application includes a short self-evaluation test so the user can assess the degree of acquired knowledge.

Our virtual experience, carefully designed, provides the user with an environment that facilitates the teaching and learning process.
Virtual reality, virtual immersion, virtual reality training, virtual reality medicine learning.