Anatomy Next offers Virtual Reality Anatomy Education

Anatomy Next, a Latvian startup which provides digitalized and interactive anatomy education for medical students, has teamed up with Microsoft and the University of Washington to bring their pilot project to students.

Sandis Kondrats, one of Anatomy Next founders, was surprised to find out that in this technology age, medical students are still using relatively dated learning tools. Turns out, all across the world, even in countries with most advanced technology, students are still learning from books and slides, which seems counterintuitive considering young people today are highly technologically literate.

Kondrats recognized the opportunity to use anatomical images in medical education and began bringing his ideas into reality. The global giant Microsoft and one of the most prestigious universities in the field of medicine in the United States, the University of Washington, showed interest to collaborate with Anatomy Next. Together with its partners, Anatomy Next launched a new project that gave an opportunity to 50 students in the University of Washington School of Dentistry to use virtual reality in their anatomy studies.

To review and discuss their experience using the virtual reality tool, Anatomy Next invited professionals from various medical institutions and the students who used the tool to the University of Washington's CoMotion Labs. Over a period of four weeks, the 50 students used the virtual reality tool in an anatomy course focusing on head and neck. For 48 of those students, this was their first time using virtual reality, and they all agreed that this was a useful tool for their learning.

Lecturers also shared positive reviews. They said that they would prefer if students were more prepared when entering the laboratory. With this virtual reality solution, students were more prepared. They could explore anatomy in 3D, using high quality 3D models and images. Considering the fact that human error is a prevalent cause of death in the field of medicine, Anatomy Next is hoping to market their tool not only to students, but to experienced doctors as well to help them prepare and treat their patients with better precision and quality.

Anatomy Next was founded in 2015, and is one of the many innovative, unique start-ups that have sprung up in Latvia over the last five years. The company is comprised of a group of medical professionals, developers, and 3D visualization specialists, aiming to revolutionize medicine through interactive 3D technologies in order to create an enjoyable learning environment for students and help medical providers provide better care.