Testing, testing…

Male CWRU medical student wearing a Microsoft HoloLens puts his hands "inside" a 3-D skeleton

It’s one thing to create a demonstration app that hints at the possibilities of using holograms for education.

It’s quite another to deliver on that technology’s promise.

Earlier this year, after months of touting the potential of Microsoft HoloLens to transform learning, Professor Mark Griswold and his team at the university’s Interactive Commons put their efforts to the ultimate test: our students.

Ever since Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder and Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Toby Cosgrove first visited Microsoft in 2014 to learn about the then top-secret device, the institutions’ first priority for HoloLens has been an anatomy curriculum for medical students.

Using actual patient images, the Interactive Commons team has been programming the 3-D holograms of the body required for such a course. From there, they gathered feedback from medical school faculty involved in anatomy education, and incorporated necessary changes.

On this autumn afternoon, however, the team would be presenting one module—in this case, the chest and all of its internal organs—to anatomy students who had just spent four weeks studying that part of the body in cadaver lab.

Would they be bored with holographic images after exploring actual bodies? Would they deem the devices yet another passing academic fad? And, perhaps most fundamentally, would 38 devices all in close proximity actually work as planned?

Watch the video to find out.