The successful "Virtual Anatomy" team was presented with the silver Triple E Award for "2023 Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team of The Year".
Developed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab in cooperation with Siemens Healthineers and the Johannes Kepler University Linz, "Virtual Anatomy" brings MRI and CT data collected from real patients together to create three-dimensional photorealistic human anatomy images.
Presented in Barcelona this year in recognition of academic innovation in the fields of science, engineering and technology, the internationally renowned Triple E-Awards, opens an external URL in a new window encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and support worldwide university involvement and commitment by presenting awards in recognition of particularly outstanding projects.
Virtual Anatomy – The Future of Teaching Anatomy
Virtual Anatomy brings MRI and CT imaging information collected from real patients together in an entirely unprecedented way as 8K, stereoscopic 3D photorealistic images, which can be rotated freely and enlarged down to the smallest structures. Since 2021, the JKU medSPACE has impressively opened the door to completely new approaches and perspectives, particularly the use of virtual anatomy when teaching anatomy to medical students.
Innovative projects, such as Virtual Anatomy, can only come about and succeed when multiple partners collaborate closely over many years and pull in the same direction. Initiated by Prof. Franz Fellner (Dean and Professor of Virtual Morphology at the JKU Faculty of Medicine, and head of the Institute of Central Radiology at the Kepler University Hospital), Virtual Anatomy was created with the expertise of those at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in collaboration with Siemens Healthineers. In 2015, the 16 x 9-meter Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center became the first virtual anatomy lecture hall featuring cinematic rendering technology developed by Siemens Healthineers. Regular lectures for JKU medical students then followed, as well as presentations about anatomy for non-experts and opportunities to watch real-time surgeries. The lectures proved extremely successful, launching a close partnership between the JKU, the Ars Electronica Futurelab, and Siemens Healthineers to ultimately create the JKU medSPACE at the JKU's new medical campus. The modern, multimedia lecture hall opened its doors in September 2021.
New Perspectives for Students and Physicians
Virtual Anatomy is very unique in that during courses, students can study data collected from actual patients instead of just learning from standard 3D human body models. These real patient images, captured using the CT and MRI equipment at the Kepler University Hospital, are navigable in real-time and can be displayed in an unprecedented photographic 8K quality with stereographic imaging.
Visualizing clinical data in an extremely vivid, natural-looking format can help physicians to explain physical injuries and impairments, diagnose diseases, and explain planned surgical procedures to their patients. As the technology provides unprecedented insight into anatomical details, the medSPACE can also be used to educate and train medical students, therapists and nursing staff. The medSPACE can, for example, display fibers in the human brain with an otherwise impossible level of detail. The system also has the capability to rotate the lifelike, 3D human body images as needed and process the images according to the intended application. In addition, the free, regularly scheduled "Anatomy for All" lecture series gives the public a unique opportunity to discover the JKU medSPACE’s exciting applications for themselves.
Click here, opens an external URL in a new window to learn more about Virtual Anatomy at the JKU medSPACE.
As part of the Virtual Anatomy project, Siemens Healthineers also developed the Cinematic Anatomy solution designed to support education in anatomy in a digital, fully immersible way and with different scalability stages. Click here, opens an external URL in a new window to learn more.