3D visualisation set to revolutionise medical and dental training


First Minister Alex Salmond today unveiled a 3D visualisation of the head and neck that is set to revolutionise healthcare training. Commissioned by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) from the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio (DDS), it underlines Scotland’s position in the vanguard of high tech, high spec, design and healthcare training.

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The new 3D Digital Head and Neck, which is ultra-realistic and fully interactive, will allow students and clinical trainees to view, manipulate and interact with a 3D head in real-time in order to develop an understanding of anatomy, and learn diagnostic techniques and procedures. The 3D model includes accurate visualisations of the skeleton, nervous system, blood supply, muscles, supporting tissues and lymphatic drainage.

Also integral to the project was the development of an innovative, interactive dental injection simulator.  This simulator will allow students to physically feel what it is like to give a dental local anaesthetic injection and to check that the injection was successfully and safely administered.

The First Minister said: 

“I am delighted to be launching this hugely exciting venture that could transform medical and dental training by giving students an opportunity to learn about human anatomy using virtual reality tools.

“Scotland is leading the way when it comes to 3D visualisation, with our innovative Scottish Ten project already capturing some of the world’s most precious heritage sites in digital form to aid conservation efforts and improve education.

“Using the same technology as the Scottish Ten, the 3D Digital Head and Neck being launched today will keep Scotland at the forefront of clinical technology and training, opening up opportunities for these techniques to be used in other medical disciplines.

“This project is an excellent example of partnership working, with the clinical expertise of the NHS and University of Glasgow working in tandem with the Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art to produce a truly ground-breaking clinical training tool.”

Professor Paul Anderson, director of the Digital Design Studio at Glasgow School of Art said:

“The 3D Digital Head and Neck has been one of the most important multi-disciplinary research projects undertaken by the Digital Design Studio to date. It has been a privilege to work with NES and with academic colleagues and medical practitioners across Scotland to create this important clinical resource, which will revolutionise the training of healthcare professionals and improve patient safety.”

The 3D Digital Head and Neck is the largest scale project commissioned to date by NES as part of an on-going programme of initiatives to enhance the understanding of anatomy, improve patient safety and increase the flexibility of training for all healthcare professionals.

NES dean for Dental Education, Dr David Felix, said: 

"This is a fantastic example of effective partnership working. The project has produced user friendly resources which put Scotland at the forefront of education and training internationally, not just within dentistry but also for healthcare professionals in other disciplines."