Virtual Reality Training for Surgery on an Even Bigger Scale

Rob Mitchum from the Computation Institute wrote a new post about CAVE2, a room-sized virtual reality environment that, besides the jaw-dropping cool factor, can be used to train surgeons by letting them stand inside a high-definition visualization of the anatomy of the brain. The CAVE2 system was developed by the Electronic Visualization Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago. EVL director recently spoke about the project here at the University of Chicago Medicine. Here’s more from Rob:

Leigh’s talk was the first Fred Dech Memorial Lecture, in honor of the Computation Institute, University of Chicago Department of Surgery, and former EVL staff member who passed away in 2011. Dech developed computer graphics for use in medical education and helped set up and run a video conferencing system the Department of Surgery used to communicate with doctors and residents at other sites. Speaking in that very same conference room, Leigh appropriately put the focus on technology and collaboration in discussing current EVL projects.

Learning surgical skills on an arcade game-sized machine like the one Ben Roitberg showed us is one thing, but being able to walk inside the anatomy of a brain is quite another. John Alverdy, our vice chairman of surgery, talked about his experience with CAVE2:

”I was standing inside the Circle of Willis, a ring of blood vessels inside the brain. If you can be immersed in this environment, and it’s big enough…it completely allows you to contextualize the anatomy to what we do in the operating room.”

About Matt Wood (513 Articles)

Matt Wood is a senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine and nonfiction editor for Another Chicago Magazine.

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