Utilising Virtual and Augmented Reality to enhance medical and healthcare education

Zane Stromberga, Athanasios Raikos, Allan Stirling, Christian Moro

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review


IntroductionModern-day medical healthcare education is rapidly moving away from the clinical setting and into the digital realm. Advancements in technology have provided new possibilities to create interactive learning tools that are not constrained by physical location. This has led to the development of mixed-reality applications that can be used to provide interactive experiences away from the traditional environments.
AimIn order to enhance medical and healthcare education in rural and remote communities, modern innovative technologies were trialled as potential teaching methods. In particular, the difference in learning anatomy between 3D-models on tablet (TB), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) were examined to determine the influence of each mode on comprehension of complex structural medical anatomy. In addition, participant perceptions of each learning mode and the susceptibility to adverse effects was assessed.
MethodologyParticipants were randomly allocated to one of the three learning modes: VR (n=20), AR (n=17) and TB (n=22) to receive a 10-minute pre-recorded lesson on the anatomy of the skull. Following that, a 20-question multiple-choice test was completed. Subject perceptions of each learning mode and any adverse effects exhibited were recorded immediately after the lesson.
Resultsn the written anatomical assessment, participants received mean (SD) scores of 12.85 (4.4) utilising VR, 12.53 (4.2) utilising AR, and 13.3 (4.0) utilising the TB device with no significant difference recorded (p=0.863). Subjects rated the learning experience highly in all 7 domains across each mode. The VR-group experienced significant increases in headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, general discomfort and double vision, when compared to the AR or tablet groups (p<0.05 for all).
ConclusionModules that utilise 3D-anatomy models through mixed-reality devices are a valid method for learning complex anatomy, are well-received by students, and would be suitable to educate, or enhance the skills of health providers in rural and remote communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Event55th Australian Society for Medical Research National Scientific Conference: Next Generation Healthcare - Merging Biology and Technology - Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 13 Nov 201615 Nov 2016
Conference number: 55th


Conference55th Australian Society for Medical Research National Scientific Conference
Abbreviated titleASMR
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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