Using Immersive Technologies to Develop Medical Education Materials

Cureus. 2021 Jan 12;13(1):e12647. doi: 10.7759/cureus.12647.


Principles of modern surgical education for clerkship and residency were established by the novel approaches of Sir William Osler, MD, Flexner report, and Halsted's principles. The evaluation of surgical education has continued to benefit from the wisdom of the past by harnessing technologies. Rapidly changing and improving the nature of the surgery fostered that evaluation and enforced the institutions to find new solutions for surgical education. In the present descriptive technical report, our aim was threefold: (1) to share acquired educational materials based on immersive technologies involving 3D-printing, Augmented Reality (AR), and 360-degree video recording to improve ongoing pediatric surgery student training at our faculty, (2) to describe workflow underlying the construction of the materials, and (3) to provide approaches that may help other students and lecturers to develop their educational materials. The educational materials, including 3D-printed models, AR hybrid student book, a hydrogel-based simulation model of the kidney, and Mirror World Simulation, were constructed. The authors, who are medical students, led the construction of the educational materials, so the educational materials were shaped by a collaboration between students and pediatric surgeons. The materials constructed enabled the students to practice surgical procedures and experience different surgical environments. We believe these educational materials can serve as a valuable resource for training in many medical specialties in the future. This work was presented at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality and Safety Conference Virtual, August 21-24, 2020.

Keywords: 360-degree video recording; augmented reality; immersive technologies; medical education; self-paced learning; simulation; surgical training; three-dimensional (3d) printing.

Grant support

This work was supported by the Scientific Research Project Coordination Unit of Istanbul University. Project number:57591 Date:08.19.2016