A Vision of the Future

Published on 19 April 2019

Students from the University of Dundee have designed and developed several innovative augmented reality apps for medical education and training

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"These cutting-edge apps made full use of Microsoft’s Hololens device, the first self-contained, holographic computer," explained Professor Tracey Wilkinson, who led the University of Dundee’s Hololens Project with Nicolas Denervaud from Medtronic, one of the world’s biggest medical device companies.

"The Hololens Project was triggered by a demonstration of this amazing new technology by Nicolas and his colleague Danny Verkissen," continued Professor Wilkinson. "The project attracted 50 of the University of Dundee’s young, creative, tech-savvy students from computing, mechanical engineering, animation, medical art, anatomy, forensic anthropology, dentistry and medicine."

"There were eight multidisciplinary groups of six to eight students. Each group met for two hours a week for 11 weeks and, in that very short time, they went from Ground Zero to producing prototype Hololens training apps."

"The students worked together to deliver incredible final results. Artists sketched beautiful drawings which were brought to life by animators and changed into code by computing students. Medics provided medical information, while anatomists described the parts of the body – this was truly a multidisciplinary project."

One of the apps so impressed the Medtronic team, members of the group which developed it were awarded prestigious internships so they could develop their idea further. "This group’s ENT app enabled trainees to walk around a hologram of the outer ear and into the inner ear, while still talking to colleagues and lecturers," said Professor Wilkinson.

The project has developed rapidly and the third cycle is now underway. Students who have taken part in the project on previous cycles have gone on to create their own spin out companies and develop their own apps.

“The augmented reality apps being developed by University of Dundee students could spark a paradigm shift in how medical and anatomical training is provided”

Professor Tracey Wilkinson


Press Office, University of Dundee