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New VR Lab Enhances Medical Training at Stanbridge College

A new virtual reality lab at Stanbridge College in California allows students to observe and interact with virtual-holographic 3D models and animations for medical training. The lab is outfitted with virtual reality all-in-one computers and software from zSpace, as well as Cyber Science 3D and Cyber Anatomy 3D virtual dissection apps.

Students in the college's Nursing, Occupational and Physical Therapy, and Veterinary Technology programs can now access more than 1,000 models of biological and anatomical structures, ranging from the cellular level up to human or animal bodies and body systems. "Using a stylus and 3D glasses, students can virtually 'lift' an object off of the zSpace screen, manipulating and adjusting it to see it at different angles and magnify it for fine details," according to a press release. "Students can dissect layers and components of a model for a deeper understanding of interconnectivity." The lab will also offer access to Smithsonian X 3D Explorer, a tool for interacting with 3D models of the museum's artifacts, plus an extensive repository of 3D images.

"Our goal is to give our students every opportunity to learn in a way that fits their needs," said Yasith Weerasuriya, president of the college, in a statement. "We are very pleased to partner with zSpace Education Systems and expand our classroom technology initiative by adding virtual reality technology to our existing complement of high-fidelity human and canine simulation manikins, synthetic and real human cadavers, and world-class skills labs. This extension of opportunities for kinesthetic learning gives our students an advantage as they prepare for professional licensure and employment."

"The models jump off of the screen and right into the hands of our students," said Mark Petersen, instructor for the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy program at Stanbridge College. "They can move them in all different angles and see every detail of how a neck muscle moves along with the spine or how a heart pumps blood. It's something that no one model, video, photo, book or live resource can really provide. Our students have both real and now virtual resources to learn and understand complex anatomy, symptoms, pain, illness and the overall health of their patients and clients."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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