The University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science is using new technology to allow students to analyse animals’ internal anatomy by using their smartphones.
The vet school is seeking to further enhance its offering by developing augmented reality (AR).
AR allows students to look inside an animal by holding their smartphone against an image or other physical source, which then reveals another set of images, such as a video, on their device.
Avril Senior, lecturer in learning technology and senior tutor at the School of Veterinary Science, said: “The school has a very active technology enhanced learning team that is always looking for new ways to engage learners and help them get the most out of their learning experience here.
“We follow evidence-based best practice to utilise and apply technology to improve teaching delivery.”
The team developed a 3D image of an equine heart, which is then revealed on the user’s smartphone when held up against cardiac drawings, as well as a short video of a horse in the school’s operating theatre that plays when a device is held up to an image of the theatre doors.
They also developed an image of a horse that, when viewed through a smartphone or tablet, reveals its internal anatomy in three dimensions.
Mrs Senior said: “Designing guides to aid the understanding of anatomy and the performance of clinical skills by producing resources for our veterinary teaching suite and hospitals is the more serious teaching application of AR.
“Students can see through to the ‘inside’ of a horse just by holding up their smartphone. They can then relate this to the patients they are seeing in the clinic.”
So far, the technology has been trialed at open days with positive results.
Plans are in place to introduce it to the school’s new curriculum, which aims to reduce the number of lectures in favour of more dynamic forms of training, such as “scenario” sessions where students work in groups to tackle clinical problems.
Try the school’s augmented reality here.