Speaker: Daniel Pahr (193-02 Computer Graphics)
Long before the onset of computer technology, anatomical sculptures were already used for educational purposes. Digital imaging technology and its incorporation into the clinical workflow through the advancements of medical visualization led to a steady decline in the use of sculpture-based teaching aids. Currently, anatomical volume visualizations are predominantly presented on computer screens. Recent developments in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality offer new, exciting ways to digitally display medical imaging data. In recent years, the application of real-world sculptures to display patient imaging data has seen a resurgence through the field of data physicalization. Predominantly, it has been used to enhance the education of medical personnel and laymen through the use of physical models. Expensive 3D printing technology is often employed in the creation of high fidelity anatomical sculptures, with realistic look-and-feel. However, few approaches make use of affordable physicalizations in the field of layman anatomical education.
In the course of this thesis different ways to introduce self-made, custom physicalizations into layman medical education are explored. We propose a suitable concept, the Vologram, to display medical volume data in a visually appealing way for medical non-experts. This takes the form of slide-based sculptures, made out of affordable materials available to the general public with a high degree of interactivity, and can be produced through commonly available means. To support a customizable workflow in the creation of these sculptures, we provide a stand-alone desktop application, which allows layman users to create custom educational sculptures. Real medical imaging data can be filtered and displayed in different ways, delivering optically diverse results. We evaluate the concept in a small scale study, to determine the effect of interactive medical visualizations as opposed to physicalizations on the target audience. The results of this study point to a great potential for the application of interactive educational concepts for layman anatomical education.