Could a virtual reality headset someday replace traditional cadaver labs for medical students? Probably not – but a new app for the Oculus Rift could certainly help.

VR Human Anatomy, currently being tested by medical students at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, reportedly offers just that. Developed by a medical animation studio, Vedavi, this detailed virtual anatomy simulation has a tentative release date for the Oculus Rift later this year, after the Oculus Touch arrives. Using a touch controller rather than a traditional Xbox controller offers considerably more interactivity and ease to manipulate anatomic models for learning.

We’ve covered the growing applications of virtual reality in medicine before. Some applications, like VR Human Anatomy, are aimed at educating medical professionals. For example, Bard VR uses Google Cardboard to create a virtual cath lab. More recently, Medtronic released a medical app for Oculus Rift.

So far, Vedavi has released two videos showing off the highly detailed models used in the program, and demonstrating the layering 3-d technology utilized to allow exploration through layers of skin, fascia, muscle and bone. Muscle contractions are also visualized through the head-tracked 3D viewer.

Virtual reality technology, be it through expensive devices such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, or affordable viewers like Google Cardboard, offer an immersive, unique experience for viewers. We’ve covered VR use in medicine in the past, and an increasing number of medical schools are looking at its use in helping students learn, especially for anatomy. While the traditional cadaver lab is unlikely to disappear, yet another tool to better learn the complexities of anatomy is surely welcome.

Source: Road to VR