OtoVIS: A Photorealistic Virtual Reality Environment for Visualizing the Anatomical Structures of the Ear and Temporal Bone [article]

Arthur Volpato Batista, University Of Calgary, Sonny Chan, Jean Rene Leblanc
<span title="2020-09-25">2020</span>
In the context of medical education, traditional teaching methods present some challenges and limitations related to the representation of anatomical structures. More specifically, in otology – a subspecialty of otolaryngology – residents often need to rely on textbooks which are two-dimensional (2D) and lack definition. Additionally, their training is largely based on endoscopic video footage, which is often plagued with low quality images while lacking annotations, commentary and not
more &raquo; ... any form of interaction. These challenges can be mitigated by the use of new technologies such as three-dimensional (3D) visualizations, virtual environments and virtual reality technology (VR). However, there is still room for improvement when looking at some current software applications for medical education and surgical training. They still suffer from technological barriers, which compromise the realism of the experience. Simulating skin, blood, tissue, bone, cartilage, and so forth in a virtual environment can be challenging and demands a considerable amount of time and effort. My thesis investigates what role 3D photorealistic real-time rendering in a VR environment can play in otolaryngology medical education. Through the careful examination of how actual organic anatomy looks and surgical procedures happen, I aim to reduce the gap between traditional anatomy teaching and anatomy seen in real patients, creating more meaningful experiences for medical students. Considering the crucial role that accuracy and precision play within the field of Medicine, I investigate my main research question: "How can photorealistic three-dimensional graphics in virtual reality enhance the anatomy learning experience of the ear structures and temporal bone?"
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