[July 26, 2021 – Parker, CO] Students at Rocky Vista University (RVU) this Fall will study human anatomy in the physical and virtual space as a result of the University’s recent partnership with Perspectus LLC, a Colorado-based virtual and mixed reality technology firm.
“This is an incredible program that will help supplement so many aspects of medical education,” says Johnathon Olivas, OMS III, Senior Predoctoral Anatomy Fellow at RVU. “The integration of virtual reality (VR) learning into academia will provide students an excellent opportunity to approach subjects such as gross anatomy, chemistry, or medical simulations uniquely and innovatively. In addition, it is rare to view anatomical structures as intimately as this VR program can provide.”
The Perspectus software allows users to enter a virtual world where they can manipulate anatomical structures and view them from every angle. Learners can hold anatomical structures in their hands, rotating them and enlarging them. Layers of muscle, blood vessels, and bones can be added, removed, drawn on, or dyed different colors to show their interrelated parts. Users can also correlate patient radiology images, such as an MRI or CT scan, to further understand medical diagnoses.
“No matter how accurate a textbook or digital image is, there will always be a breakdown in communication and understanding when students are shown two-dimensional versions of three-dimensional structures,” says Erick Miranda, Chief Operating Officer of Perspectus. During early testing at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the Perspectus software increased understanding of spatial relationships and anatomical systems for 87% of students.
This is terrific news for RVU’s growing student body and healthcare partnerships. In addition to extensive cadaver-based instruction, the University has been exploring ways to reach large numbers of students using cutting-edge technology that is quickly gaining traction in medical education.
“Perspectus VR is really going to change the way that we teach students about three-dimensional anatomical relationships in the human body,” says Dr. Mike Jorgensen,
Associate Professor of Clinical Anatomy. “I think it will be an important research tool for all students but is also something that residents and clinicians will find useful.”
RVU plans to utilize the Perspectus software to complement clinical subjects in anatomy, surgery, radiology, and women’s health beginning this Fall. Faculty will be able to deliver lectures in-person or remotely in the virtual space to learners on multiple campuses and healthcare sites.
“By allowing faculty to instantly upload three dimensional MRI, CT and 4D CT data sets in a virtual environment, they will be able to more accurately depict variations in the human anatomy and how to provide better care once in practice,’ said Miranda.