Anatomy. One of the first and most passionate subjects of any medical school’s program. Many people find out if they like or don’t like the possibility of practicing medicine when they take this class. It’s not the hundreds of terms and countless hours one must dedicate to memorize every fiber of the human body that deters some students. Rather, it is that moment when you are exposed to a human body, the moment when you are confronted with mortality and you are 100% aware that you are working with the body of somebody who has passed to learn medicine, that’s it. Of course, this is a very defining moment for every beginning medical student, but the truth is that not every single medical school has the means or resources to offer a great quality anatomy lab experience. Not every cadaver is in great shape, and of course not everybody gets a cadaver to study at home.
Da Vinci was one of the first anatomists that raided graveyards in a clandestine fashion to obtain human body parts for study. During renaissance that was a breakthrough (defying laws, religious credence, ethical issues at the time, etc…). But this is not a problem in the 21st century. Anatomy textbooks and atlases are huge, but they don’t give you the sense of dimension or space needed to fully understand delicate and complex topics like the abdominal wall. Human body plastic models aren’t the best answer either, a lot of details are lost on those builds (no matter how good the quality) and let’s face it – even the best plastic models are just not the same as a real human body. And although cadavers are readily available to most medical schools, as mentioned before, even cadavers have their limitations.
This is where the guys at 3D4 Medical (Dublin, Ireland and San Diego, California) enter the picture. There must be over a hundred apps promising the definite study of anatomy; and most of them don’t deliver. 3D4 Medical’s has been developing anatomy apps for android, windows and IOs since 2004, winning multiple awards in the process. As they’ve developed these apps, they have received feedback from every single product they deliver and they have consistently used it to continually upgrade and improve their products. Obviously, these are the guys you want to manage something as important as Project Esper – what we believe can be 3D4 Medical’s Magnum Opus.
What is Project Esper?
Project Esper wants to position itself as the ultimate human anatomy resource for healthcare – and it just might be doing so. With impressive graphics and their mastery of the trade, 3D4medical is building an augmented reality based anatomy app that, if it delivers we think it should be included as a learning tool in every single med school program. And with 3D4 Medical’s history of building great apps, we believe they will! Anatomy is difficult, not everyone is cut out to memorize every single tissue in the body successfully, but with Project Esper, it can certainly be easier. Here at ARinMED we are not impressed by just outstanding graphics, but they do help and Project Esper will no doubt be much more than that, much more than just outstanding graphics.
3D4 Medical has characterized themselves as a learning company, offering great academic solutions for medical studies; and if Complete Anatomy (which was a ‘Best of 2016’ app store winner) is an idea of what Project Esper will deliver in AR, – we will be ALL IN for it. This app could help render the daunting anatomy texts and atlases almost obsolete by offering detailed images, recordings and quizzes in AR. The interactive 3D applications could also help overcome some of the limitations presented by the use of cadavers in education or by the volume of students needing access. The ability to use these the app’s resources to build your own class is also a real advantage for medical schools. And – what if you were also able to apply physiology to the app? The Project Esper app, if done well, could seriously improve the way we are teaching anatomy and physiology to our med students. And for practicing doctors, think about this, what if you could provide detailed modeling of an osteopathic problem to a patient, showing him or her in real time a healthy spine vs a 3D reconstruction of his or her spine? This could be done for countless pathologies, such as neurologic or gastroenterological cases, among many others. So rather than just being strictly educational, this app could help improve the delivery of medical services in an understandable way to patients around the world!
We are looking forward to seeing what the guys at 3D4 Medical are doing with Project Esper. We believe this project has one of the brightest promises in Augmented Reality for medical purposes that we have seen to date. Especially given 3D4 Medical’s history of delivering great apps. We just hope that some of the great opportunities like those discussed above won’t be missed. Although the possibilities are endless, Project Esper has the chance for some easy wins at the outset and countless possibilities for future development after the first iteration becomes available. Project Esper is making the future of medicine in augmented reality become a present reality and we congratulate the folks at 3D4 Medical on their cutting-edge innovation. Project Esper has the chance to be one of the first solid building block in a new way of teaching and practicing medicine and we couldn’t be more excited for it!! We hope to be able to test it out soon! Let us know what you think in the comments section!!