Vast Potential of AR, VR and MR in the Medical Education

Experience makes a doctor a “good doctor” and it’s not just the theoretical knowledge that he gets from the books but along with that the practical experience that he gets in the real world. In today’s world, the most concern that the patients have especially when it comes to complex procedures like surgery is, whether the doctor has the proper experience? It is normal for the patient to have this anxiety because he is the one risking his life at the hands of his doctor. The major cause for this anxiety in today’s world is the difference in practical experience that a junior doctor gets from Government medical colleges and private medical colleges. In government medical colleges the number of patients is very high and the number of cases the junior doctors get to attend will also be high and hence they gain more practical experience. But in the case of private medical colleges, the number of patients is low and above that the patients go to private medical colleges expecting better facilities and better treatment, so naturally, they expect a senior doctor to treat them, and the junior doctors only get to watch procedures which the senior doctors do. This vast difference in experience is becoming a major problem/concern and threat to the patient’s life in today’s world.

How AR, VR and MR helps to fill this gap?

The AR-MR technology is advancing at a very fast pace and it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 80% in the next five years.

Below are some of the areas where AR, VR, and MR can be helpful for medical students:

1. Cadaver is no longer required for teaching the anatomy of the human body, instead, we can use the simulated models


  • Each student will get to experience and study the body parts
  •  The headache to procure and preserve the cadaver can be eliminated
  • Can be used forever
  • One-time investment

2. Complex surgery can be practiced multiple times before actually doing the surgery.


  • Will boost confidence of the doctor
  • No risk to life
  • Can reset and redo again even if a mistake is made

Tools required:

The entire process can be mainly divided into three parts:

  1. Creating the 3D models and realistic audio
  2. Rendering these using a high-performance computer
  3. Device to visualize it and interact with it

What the students visualize has to be realistic, for that high-resolution 3D models and realistic video had to be created. When the 3D models are created its shading, lighting, skinning, texture, animation, etc. and when it is mixed with the realistic audio the experience should be close to reality. The second part is to render this huge data without any lag, for this we need high-performance computers. Now some of the windows devices available in the market are MR-ready devices and can be used in the classrooms. HoloLens from Microsoft is the leader in MR. VR solutions like ossoVR are really helpful for practicing surgery. Simbionix solution for laparoscopic operation training and its training devices help practice laparoscopic procedures. Angio mentor specializes in interventional cardiology and endovascular surgeries. Hyst Mentor platform from Simbionix specializes in obstetrics and gynecology.

With the help of AR, VR, and MR, it is possible to train doctors to an extent without any risk to life. But real experience with the patient is also necessary because in the real world quick decisions have to be made if anything goes wrong and that comes only with real practice. And a downside to this virtual training is the medical procedures and tools used will get advanced and these changes have to be incorporated and the software (sometimes the hardware) has to be updated on a regular basis.

Author Details

Arvind Dinakar

Arvind is a Senior Technology Architect at Infosys with 18 years of experience in IT Industry. Worked on multiple digital projects. Role handled include Digital Tech Strategy consultant, Enterprise Mobility Architect, Solution Architect and App programmer. Worked across teams in leading Digital technology track (from strategy to steady state), for several digital transformation initiatives. Onsite consulting experience in US and UK for multiple clients across domains.

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