Large SNN grant for further development of virtual dissection room

Samenwerkingsverband Noord Nederland (SNN) has awarded a €799,000 grant to the project 'The Virtual Dissection Room 2.0'. Here, Enatom, UMCG, Amsterdam UMC and MemoryLab are working together to improve current anatomy education using new, digital capabilities.

In the dissection room, junior doctors study the ins and outs of the human body. 'Within medical training, however, there is limited time for this,' says Janniko Georgiadis, head of Anatomy at UMCG. And the gap between anatomy books to study at home and real anatomical specimens in the dissecting room is large. 'Our department therefore developed a web application together with Enatom that allows students to view anatomy in 3D. Because this has been done with thousands of photos of each specimen, the models are lifelike and highly detailed.' 

The SNN grant will allow Enatom, UMCG, Amsterdam UMC and Memory Lab to further develop the virtual dissection room. 'We find it important that every biomedical student and healthcare professional can access our virtual dissection room and enrich and test their knowledge. Independent of place, time and device,' says Lusanne Tehupuring, CEO of Enatom. 'This project gives our current application an enormous boost.' 

With Enatom's application, students and healthcare professionals can already study a large part of the human body in 3D thanks to the images of hundreds of specimens. 'But not everything has been captured yet,' says Tehupuring. 'Thanks to this grant, we can investigate how best to do this. Take the brain, for example. Those are preserved in a different way than body parts of which we already have images in our application. The question is how we can best capture them. Amsterdam UMC specialises in this, together with them we are investigating how to do this.' 

With the help of MemoryLab, an expert in adaptive learning, we are investigating how users can best learn in 3D and how to test this. Tehupuring: 'Think, for example, about how we can know whether the student points to the right part in our application, and how quickly he or she does so and actually remembers it.' Enatom is also developing its own mobile scanning studio to image specimens faster and more efficiently. 

More information about the project can be found at the Enatom website

Role of the Innovation Center 

The Innovation Center has been instrumental in getting agreement on the way the company and the UMCG work together on this sensitive topic and continues to support the collaboration. It has helped to make it possible that medical students of the UMCG have been the first users of the innovation in their education.