Concordia Occupational Therapy faculty member teaches and learns about using virtual reality in anatomy education.

When people hear about virtual reality (VR) they might think of headsets and hand controls immersing someone is an artificial world, but virtual reality can take many forms, including options for students to engage in VR from their own computers or tablets. In the CUW Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs, faculty are using a unique program called VH Dissector to support students in their understanding of human anatomy.

What is a Virtual Cadaver?

In 1994, the National Institutes of Health began the Visible Human Project. They created a dataset of images taken from a human cadaver using CT scans and MRIs. In the early 2000s, Touch of Life Technologies used the dataset to create an interactive 3-D cadaver that students can virtually dissect with just a few clicks of a mouse.

How is CUW using the VH Dissector?

CUW School of Health Professions students have the unique opportunity to dissect and/or view real human cadavers in their anatomy education. CUW faculty use the VH Dissector to help students prepare for their hands-on lab time, and study the structures when they are off campus. Dr. Susan Wilbanks from the Occupational Therapy (OT) program has been working with the VH Dissector since 2021 and has created custom lessons in the program for the OT students.

CUW faculty are training instructors from around the world to use a virtual cadaver

Dr. Wilbanks was recently invited to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in New Haven, CT, to teach other faculty from around the world about how she builds her custom lessons and incorporates them into coursework. At the meeting she also got to learn from other faculty about how they use the program, and had a chance to experience their virtual and augmented reality programs that allow the user to walk around the virtual cadaver and interact in an immersive 3-D environment.

Want in?

CUW School of Health Professions students receive expert instruction in Anatomy. By incorporating state-of-the-art technologies such as the VH Dissector, students have a leg up with these customized materials supporting their education. To explore all of the offerings in the School of Health Professions, click the link below: