A Novel Three-Dimensional Interactive Virtual Face to Facilitate Facial Anatomy Teaching Using Microsoft HoloLens

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2021 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s00266-020-02110-5. Online ahead of print.


Background: In-depth understanding of facial anatomy is the foundation of clinical education and practices. Lately, anatomy education has undergone many changes due to the adoption of integrated medical curriculums. The time allocated to anatomy teaching on occasion been shortened to allow more time for clinical education. Innovation in visual technology such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) has added a new dimension to anatomy education. The authors present a mixed reality virtual face model to facilitate complex anatomy teaching using Microsoft HoloLens in various educational settings.

Materials and methods: Close-range photogrammetry technique was utilised to construct a virtual face using a dissected fresh-frozen cephalus. Scanning was undertaken using DSLR cameras, capable of capturing ten frames per second, in ten different angles on the dissected side and four for the undissected side. The images of the entire cephalous were also separately captured in twenty different angles. These images were processed using software to reconstruct the three-dimensional virtual face.

Result: The virtual face using a mixed reality platform was able to demonstrate individual layers of the face and relevant clinically significant structures clearly with interactive labelling. Face and the content validity by 12 experts (plastic surgeons and dermatologists) demonstrated strong inter-rater reliability expressed as interclass correlation coefficient.

Conclusion: An immersive experience by using Microsoft HoloLens provides an accurate 3D perception of the face to enhance anatomy learning. This can be utilised in undergraduate, postgraduate and continued medical education as an additional teaching tool in the constraints of cadaveric dissection.

Level of evidence v: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

Keywords: Anatomy education; Augmented-reality; Cadaver dissection; Medical education; Mixed-reality; Virtual-reality; Visual technology.