University of Newcastle’s Neuroanatomy lessons with an AR twist

The human body has baffled and engrossed physicians and surgeons alike for millennia with as many “how’s and why’s” being answered as are asked. It’s a constant topic of investigation that has The University of Newcastle taking the technological step to using Augmented Reality for their studies.
CT scans are great for seeing what’s going on inside a human brain. However, it is hard for students to understand the relationship between the parts of a CT scan and three-dimensional structures in the brain.

Brain Scan AR is an augmented reality (AR) app to help students understand individual parts of the brain, where they are on the scan, and their relationship to each other.
Goals of the project:

  1. How do we correlate brain imagery with textbook anatomy?
  2. How can we help students understand how to interpret brain slices?
  3. How can we extend learning beyond the classroom?

The Bran Scan AR app bridges that gap using augmented reality to overlay a three-dimensional model of the brain on top of the two-dimensional CT scans. This lets Students access all this information using an AR app on their own mobile device.
A case study was conducted of 177 students surveyed across 5 disciplines studying Anatomy, Medicine, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Biomedical Science, and Medical Radiation Science to determine the success of the project. The results were evaluated on ease of use and viability and showed that the application was received well and highly effective in students understanding the brain anatomy. It has been integrated into the delivery of neuroanatomy classes in 2018.