3-D technology and interactive anatomy join forces to provide a world first in training for healthcare professionals
Scotland’s First Minister launches innovative approach to education and training for healthcare staff
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, MSP, will experience at first hand today (24 April) how 3-D technologies and interactive anatomy can work together to improve training for healthcare professionals.
Following three years of development, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is launching innovative educational resources that will enhance the understanding of anatomy, improve patient safety, and increase the flexibility of training for all healthcare professionals.
They represent a significant time and financial investment by NES to help meet the Scottish Government’s Quality Strategy aims of improving patient safety and aspirations in their recently announced digital strategy.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“I am delighted to be launching this hugely exciting venture that could transform medical and dental training by giving students an opportunity to learn about human anatomy using virtual reality tools.
“Scotland is leading the way when it comes to 3D visualisation, with our innovative Scottish Ten project already capturing some of the world’s most precious heritage sites in digital form to aid conservation efforts and improve education.
“Using the same technology as the Scottish Ten, the 3D Digital Head and Neck being launched today will keep Scotland at the forefront of clinical technology and training, opening up opportunities for these techniques to be used in other medical disciplines.
“This project is an excellent example of partnership working, with the clinical expertise of the NHS and University of Glasgow working in tandem with the Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art to produce a truly ground-breaking clinical training tool.”
Following a rigorous procurement process that attracted interest from across Europe and the UK, NES has worked with the Digital Design Studio (DDS), part of the Glasgow School of Art, to produce the world’s first anatomically accurate interactive 3-D Head and Neck learning resource.
Dr David Felix, NES Dean for Dental Training said:
“This is a fantastic example of effective partnership working. The project has produced user friendly resources which put Scotland at the forefront of education and training internationally, not just within dentistry but also for healthcare professionals in other disciplines.
“I am delighted to announce today that we have agreed to invest a further £100,000 to continue the development of the 3-D model and details are being finalised with DDS.
“In addition, NES will also fund a clinical lecturer based in the Dental School in Glasgow who will also register for a doctoral level research degree in the theme area of medical visualisation. The project chosen will build upon the current strong collaboration between the Dental School and the Digital Design Studio of the Glasgow School of Art.”
The 3D Head and Neck will enable dissection education to be taken to the next level. Construction of the model required careful dissection of a cadaver, with laser scanning at each stage, to ensure that all anatomical details were captured in three dimensions. DDS then used their expertise to reconstruct the head and neck and develop software that could manipulate the model.
This extremely accurate model and software allows students to dissect the head and neck “virtually” whether this is by rotating the head and neck, zooming in on specific areas or focusing on discrete anatomical structures such as nerves or blood vessels as often as they like. When used in one of the 3-D teaching laboratories, students can immerse themselves in the anatomy of the head and neck and appreciate the relationship between different structures from any angle.
“The 3D Digital Head and Neck has been one of the most important multi-disciplinary research projects undertaken by the Digital Design Studio to date,” says DDS Director, Professor Paul Anderson.
“It has been a privilege to work with NES and with academic colleagues and medical practitioners across Scotland to create this important clinical resource, which will revolutionise the training of healthcare professionals and improve patient safety.
“It is the highest resolution 3D model of a human male head and neck currently available in the world, he adds “which includes dynamic transparency and culling of volumes. It enables immediate recognition of related anatomical structures, from superficial to deep, thus allowing easy identification of structures that may be at risk from medical or surgical intervention.”
Integral to the development of the interactive anatomy model was the development of an innovative, interactive dental injection simulator. This simulator gives students the opportunity to feel what it is like to give a dental local anaesthetic injection and links this with the anatomical model to check that the injection would have been successful.
Allowing students to practice giving injections as often as they want with no consequences to patients helps them feel less apprehensive when giving their first injections to real patients. Good news for both patients and students.
In fact, dentists at Dundee and Glasgow Dental Schools involved in the testing of the simulator have commented that despite their years of experience they feel more comfortable giving injections having used the simulator.
To ensure that dental teams and undergraduates are able to take advantage of the new educational resources that are being launched today, and to ensure that Scotland is able to maximise the use of new technologies, NES has invested in state of the art 3-D teaching laboratories in Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Stornoway.
These laboratories use active 3-D technology that allow students to experience a level of 3-D that until now has only been available to professional broadcasters and media.
All the centres are linked and it is possible for a tutor in one centre to lead a lesson with students at multiple centres at the same time. This capability is already being used by hygiene/therapy students of the University of the Highlands and Islands based in Dumfries, Inverness and Stornoway.
Colm Rice, a dental tutor in Stornoway, has welcomed the innovative educational approaches:
“…. the integration of state of the art cutting edge technology within the new dental facilities has given us the ability and resources to provide high quality training and education. The course has already attracted several students from the islands with young families who were unable to move to the mainland to study and are delighted to have this opportunity locally.”
These facilities will be available to local groups such as schools and other public sectors to help meet the aspirations of Scotland’s Digital Strategy.
Links to video footage (live at 11.00am)
Link to stills (live at 11.00am)
Link to video package from Scottish Government video unit:
– See more at: http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/media-centre/press-releases/3-d-technology-and-interactive-anatomy-join-forces-to-provide-a-world-first-in-training-for-healthcare-professionals.aspx#sthash.U34PcH6b.dpuf