Mixed Reality Anatomy Using Microsoft HoloLens and Cadaveric Dissection: A Comparative Effectiveness Study

Abstract

Purpose

As the amount of curricular material required of medical students increases, less time is available for anatomy; thus, methods to teach anatomy more efficiently and effectively are necessary. In this randomized controlled trial, we looked at the effectiveness of a mixed reality (MR) device to teach musculoskeletal anatomy to medical students compared with traditional cadaveric dissection.

Method

Participating students were divided into three cohorts. Cohort 1 first studied upper limb anatomy in MR followed by lower limb anatomy through cadaveric dissection. Cohort 2 studied upper limb anatomy with cadaveric dissection followed by lower limb anatomy in MR. After the six sessions, a third cohort of 33 students who never received any teaching in MR was recruited to participate in the final practical exams as a control group. All 64 students completed two practical exams with equivalent content, one in the cadaver lab and one using MR.

Results

The average scores were 73.8% + 12.3 on the cadaver exam and 74.2% + 13.0 in MR. There is no statistical difference between these scores (p > 0.05). A correlation was found between the MR practical exam and cadaver practical exam scores (r = 0.74, p < 0.01) across all students.

Conclusions

To our knowledge, this study marks the first time that MR was compared with traditional anatomy learning modalities in a multi-session, group course. Our results clearly indicate that medical students, regardless of the study modality, performed similarly on the MR and the cadaver practical exams.

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Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

Stojanovska M., Medical Student, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Tingle G., Senior 3D Artist, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Tan L., 3D Artist, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Ulrey L., 3D Artist, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Simonson-Shick S. M.S., Instructional Designer, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Mlakar J., Assistant Director of Visualization, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Eastman H., Senior Visualization Technology Developer, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Gotschall R., Senior Visualization Technology Developer, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Boscia A. M.S., Medical Student, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Enterline, R. M.S., Research Associate, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Henninger E. M.B.A., Executive Director, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, revising the article critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Herrmann KA. M.D. Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anatomy University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Simpson S.W. Ph.D., Professor, Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Griswold MA. Ph.D., Professor of Radiology, Faculty Director, Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Wish-Baratz S. Ph.D. M.B.A., Associate Professor of Anatomy, Director of HoloAnatomy Interactive Commons, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA

Contributions: substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation of data, drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content, provided final approval of the paper, agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work, gave final approval to the submitted paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Stojanovska.

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Stojanovska, M., Tingle, G., Tan, L. et al. Mixed Reality Anatomy Using Microsoft HoloLens and Cadaveric Dissection: A Comparative Effectiveness Study. Med.Sci.Educ. 30, 173–178 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40670-019-00834-x

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Keywords

  • Medical education
  • Anatomy
  • Mixed reality
  • Virtual reality
  • HoloLens