Case Western Reserve University’s HoloAnatomy® Software Suite will star this week in a pair of online events that Microsoft is hosting for colleges and universities:
- On Tuesday, Jan. 26, representatives from the university and Microsoft will present a webinar titled "A New Vision for Medical Education" for colleges and universities interested in learning more about Case Western Reserve’s mixed-reality curriculum. The session will highlight Case Western Reserve’s rapid pivot from classroom to all-remote teaching of its mixed-reality anatomy curriculum using Microsoft HoloLens.
- On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Microsoft’s HoloLens Industry Summit will include an education break-out session led by Case Western Reserve and including comments from other universities that have used its HoloAnatomy software.
Through its partnership with Cleveland Clinic in the development of the Health Education Campus (HEC), Case Western Reserve had the opportunity to become the first higher education institution in the world to begin learning and working with Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, then still under confidential development with the company.
Professor of Radiology Mark Griswold led the university’s efforts on the project and appeared at Microsoft’s 2015 Build conference, when the company first unveiled the new mixed-reality device to the public.
Over the next four years, Griswold and his team at the Interactive Commons developed a software curriculum that allowed students wearing the mixed-reality headset to "look" inside a 3D representation of the human body—even as they also see the actual physical environment around them.
When the HEC welcomed students in 2019, the university’s entering medical students became the first class scheduled for a full year of lessons using HoloAnatomy® with Microsoft HoloLens.
But those plans appeared to be in jeopardy in March of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Case Western Reserve to transition to all-remote instruction. Instead the team worked with Microsoft to deploy 185 HoloLens devices—loaded with the HoloAnatomy curriculum software to students spread across the United States and Canada.
With anatomy professor Susanne Wish-Baratz now leading the course from her home, students still had the same 3D model “standing” next to them—only now the surrounding environment could be their living room or kitchen, instead of an HEC classroom.
“We are likely the only university in the world able to do this,” said Nancy Farrow, the university’s director of global sales for the HoloAnatomy® Software Suite, "so we’re sharing these success stories and demonstrating our technology for a much wider audience through these events."