Augmented reality turns live volunteers into anatomy lessons

A new augmented reality system lets physiotherapy students see inside the human body by projecting different layers of muscles and bones over the top of a volunteer “patient.”

The technology, called the Augmented Studio, is designed to enhance the teaching of physiotherapy, in which students currently use their knowledge of anatomy to understand how muscles work beneath the skin of patients they can’t see into. But the Augmented Studio bridges the gap between that theory and practice.

‘Underneath our skin’

By using tracking sensors mounted on a scaffold it projects images of our muscles and skeleton directly onto a volunteer. The images automatically follow the shape and movement of the body, giving students in the studio space an interactive all-round view of how our bodies work. It can even allow them and their teachers to “draw” on the projected image to make information and action more explicit.

“What we are doing is overlaying virtual models of what we look like underneath our skin and synchronizing that with real human action,” says Thuong Hoang, a research fellow at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural Users Interfaces at the University of Melbourne.

The Augmented Studio was built by Hoang, computer engineer Zaher Joukhadar, and doctoral student Martin Reinoso, who adapted Microsoft’s Kinect body sensing and tracking device as well as “RoomAlive” projection technology; both of which were originally designed for computer gaming.

By Andrew Trounson-Melbourne | Futurity

Image Credit: Getty Images

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About Peter Coffaro 1136 Articles

A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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