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Dental students embrace new learning technology that helps them build their skills & knowledge

By Dental Tribune International
January 10, 2020

BRISBANE, Australia: In an exciting advancement in healthcare education, dental students and medical nurses have been experimenting with augmented reality (AR) to help build their skills and knowledge. In contrast to virtual reality (VR), which provides a fully artificial environment, augmented reality (AR) is an overlay of computer-generated content onto the physical surroundings.

Traditional methods of education are, slowly but surely, becoming a thing of the past. The traditional teaching methods are getting transformed and modernized rapidly - they are becoming increasingly digitized, all driven by technology innovations. In fact, the education technology industry, the so-called EdTech, which is growing at a 17% annual rate, is expected to reach $252 billion by 2020.

Among the most significant trends in EdTech, Augmented Reality (AR) holds the top spot. With more than 1 billion users expected to join the trend by 2020, AR is about to open a pool of opportunities for educational institutions and businesses.

Augmented reality in education can serve multiple purposes. Apart from helping the students easily acquire, process, and remember the information, AR makes the learning process itself more engaging and fun. Another point to be noted is that AR in education is not limited to a single age group or level of education, and can be used equally well in all levels of schooling; from pre-school education up to college, or even at work.

Just like all other fields, even education in dentistry is getting revolutionized by the modern methods of teaching, esp AR.

HoloHuman, an app based on augmented reality (AR), is being used by students from the School of Dentistry at the University of Queensland to get an unparalleled view of the human body. As with VR, students use headsets to make use of the technology. Holohuman app is created by Pearson Education and is delivered to the user by Microsoft technology.

The app has been providing an opportunity for immersive 3D exploration of anatomy, with dental students focusing on the head and neck. The students describe the experience as like having a radiographic vision, as they can see through the skin and explore the depths and layers of the human body. However, the interactive learning does not stop with those using the headset. Working as a single unit or simultaneously with groups of students, the unit allows the rest of the class to follow along on laptops or projector screens, seeing exactly what the user sees.

In the same way, as the dental students have been using the HoloHuman app, nursing students from the same university have been using an app called HoloPatient. The program allows students to walk 360 degrees around the patient hologram and assess their symptoms, watch their breathing, monitor their vital signs and then discuss the patient with classmates and teachers.

Both apps have video recording capabilities and provide the option of assessments and revision. This means that students have more possibilities to gain valuable practice before moving into the next stage of their careers. According to the university, the program is set to be introduced into other areas of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at some point in the future.

The official website of HoloHuman calls it a mixed reality anatomy application for HoloLens, featuring the world's most advanced 3D human anatomy model, ready for virtual dissection.

HoloHuman is a groundbreaking medical learning application for Microsoft HoloLens, by Pearson, the world's learning company, and 3D4Medical, creator of the world's leading anatomy learning platform.

With its unique interface, HoloHuman allows an immersive 3D exploration of anatomy, giving an unparalleled view of the human body. The key features are:

Selectable structures

Select from thousands of anatomical structures to reveal detailed facts and in-depth information. Simply place the headset on and gesture to zoom, rotate, select & fade structures.

Virtual cadaveric dissections

Perform virtual cadaveric dissections and experience shared views of the model. Structures can be highlighted, hidden or faded, to better demonstrate their anatomical relationships.

Dive inside the model

HoloHuman allows the wearer to discover the inside of organs such as the heart and brain in greater detail by simply stepping towards the model, 'opening up' the anatomy to reveal its internal structures.

Intuitive user experience

Built specifically for HoloLens mixed reality environment, the HoloHuman interface is easy to navigate and fun to explore.

Learn more about it in this video

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