Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine To Open Nation’s First Virtual Holographic Training Center

Date: April 22, 2013
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Barbara Franklin
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New York, N.Y. — Harlem-based Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) today announced it will open the nation’s first Virtual Training Center to utilize 3D holographic technology and other state-of-the-art equipment that will allow students to visualize, create and experience the human anatomy.

The advanced-technology Virtual Training Center will enable medical students to easily interact, dissect and manipulate virtual anatomy as if using real cadavers, creating a lifelike interaction. The Center will open at TouroCOM’s Middletown, N.Y., campus in 2014.

“Touro is committed to training the next generation of physicians and allied medical practitioners in the most advanced setting possible, allowing us to continue to achieve a standard of excellence that has become a hallmark of a Touro education,” said Dr. Alan Kadish, president and CEO of Touro College and University System. “With this new training center, the new campus in Middletown will rival some of the best-known medical education facilities in the country.”

zSpace, Inc., a technology provider, and Cyber-Anatomy, a software development firm, will work with Touro to create the Virtual Training Center. By combining zSpace’s 3D virtual holographic platform with Cyber-Anatomy’s 3D medical education software, TouroCOM students will be able to advance their medical training and gain a deeper understanding of the human anatomy within a lifelike environment.

“TouroCOM will be the first school to integrate holographic anatomy into the medical curriculum,” said Dr. David Lenihan, preclinical dean and associate professor of neuroanatomy and neuroscience at TouroCOM, located on West 125th Street in Harlem. “The holographic bodies will be used along with traditional methods of cadavers.

“Students will be able to start the dissection at the skin and then zoom to structures like muscles, bones, and nerves as in the traditional model. However, they will also be able to go even further, looking inside the cell structures and even zoom in to the DNA!

“The holographic system will allow the student to ‘take a ride’ inside the red blood cell as it travels through the body or be on the wave of a nerve impulse traveling from the brain to the muscle. And, if they make a mistake, they can redo it, which was not possible with a cadaver.”

“We are also advancing anatomy instruction by incorporating plastic models to give the student a unique anatomic experience. These systems will better allow a student to understand and interpret modern imaging studies such as CT, MRI and PET Scans,” said Dr. Robert Goldberg, Dean of TouroCOM.

The Virtual Learning Center will be able to accommodate 15 medical students at a time and will require no new construction. TouroCOM officials said the initial capital cost would be about $300,000, with updates of about $20,000 per year.

Cyber-Anatomy Med is one of the world's most advanced, medical-level anatomy software. Built on advanced engineering and gaming technologies, every structure in the human body was developed from the ground up in 3D, resulting in over 4,300 structures and over 13,000 identifiable anatomy landmarks. By leveraging zSpace’s integrated hardware and software platform, Cyber-Anatomy Med will be delivered in a realistic, immersive and interactive 3D environment.

“With 3D technology, medical educators and students can quickly design the simulations that improve their engagement and understanding of the material,” said Paul Kellenberger, CEO, zSpace. “With this new partnership with Cyber-Anatomy and Touro College, we are providing a collaborative 3D experience that significantly expands medical training, education and research possibilities. By offering an easy-to-use and lifelike platform, medical students can easily visualize complex structures as well as gain the problem-solving experience within an intuitive and cost-effective environment.”