Employing the HoloLens Mixed Reality device for medical education: a focus on brain physiology

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Abstract Number 238

There are increasing demands towards the volume of information that requires covering early-on in a medical and health science program, prior to student’s progression into the clinical years. As such, medical students may find benefit from the introduction of tools that can effectively enhance learning and levels of engagement (1-3). One of the key aspects of medical education is removing any ambiguity surrounding new terms and naming conventions, as well as the clinical applications of this content, which can present a challenge in pre-clinical years. A new disruptive technology, the HoloLens, has been introduced as a device which can render the human body in full 3D. The aim of this study was to compare participant learning and perceptions after completing an identical lesson on brain physiology using either the HoloLens or a tablet-based augmented reality (AR) platform. Thirty-eight participants were randomly allocated to the HoloLens or AR groups, with assessments of student learning, experiences and perceptions performed through a pre-post test and Likert Scale questionnaire. Initially, there was consistent performance between the two groups. The average post-test scores was 74% for the AR group 79% for the HoloLens (p=NSD). Both AR and holograms reported similar comfort levels with no adverse health effects observed during the lesson, other than the holograms group experiencing a significant increase in dizziness. The holograms group rated a higher overall enjoyment with their learning tool and reported a significantly higher rating regarding the clarity of instructions and labels. Finding ways to improve and optimize learning in today’s medical education courses can be challenging, although these new devices do offer a range of options for educators wishing to adopt technology-enhanced learning within their curricula (4). This study provided evidence that the HoloLens is as effective as AR-based lessons for learning and engagement within physiology education.

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
EventANZAHPE Conference/Festival 2021: Moving Forward in Ambiguity - online, Australia
Duration: 12 Jul 202119 Jul 2021


ConferenceANZAHPE Conference/Festival 2021
Internet address


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