Cleveland Clinic, ZME to develop VR-based clinical anatomy curriculum

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The Cleveland Clinic and Zygote Medical Education will work to create a virtual reality-based anatomy curriculum to train future doctors.

The medically accurate and precise 3D anatomical models are designed to be easily accessible via mobile and desktop apps to complement the VR curriculum.

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Under the partnership, the delivery of the first product will be to support a cadaver-less anatomy education initiative for first year and second year medical students enrolled at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

“We have an extraordinary opportunity to capitalize on a stunning array of technology that is the state of the future and will allow us to move anatomy education out of a traditional cadaver-based environment which has substantial limitations,” says James Young, MD, chief academic officer at the Cleveland Clinic. “Students of all sorts will be able to employ a completely different visual experience to learn, comprehend, and understand the nuances of both normal human anatomy and disease states.”

Android and iOS mobile apps are currently in development with the latest operating system releases for Mac and Windows, which are slated for release next summer with the VR application.

The initiative is part of a collaborative effort with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine to change the way medical students learn about human anatomy and will ultimately include a variety of VR and augmented reality platforms.

The Cleveland Clinic’s Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion, scheduled to open in the summer of 2019 as part of a new health education campus, will house Case Western Reserve University medical, physician assistant, dental and nursing students.

While the software solution is meant to support cadaver-based learning, it will also feature clinical case studies focused on anatomy content from all seven anatomical regions of the human body in a virtual environment.

“We are not simply putting out pretty 3D anatomy models in VR,” says Cory Heizenrader of ZME. “Our 3D model content is integrated with the Cleveland Clinic tested curriculum in real-world clinical settings and we are making this available to the medical education community as a tool to enhance human anatomy understanding. We’re providing a solution that legitimizes virtual reality within the medical education community.”

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