The LiverAnatomyExplorer; A WebGL-Based Surgical Teaching Tool

By Steven Birr, Jeanette Mönch, Dirk Sommerfeld, Uta Preim, and Bernhard Preim

NOTE: This is an overview of the entire article, which appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of the IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications magazine.
Click here to read the entire article.

Web-based learning systems are increasingly being used to supplement traditional surgical training methods for medical students and instructors. This article introduces the LiverAnatomyExplorer, a real-time surgical teaching tool which combines state-of-the-art Web technologies such as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), x3D (Extensible3D) and WebGL (Web Graphics Library). What is different about the LiverAnatomyExplorer is that it combines clinical 2D imagery with interactive Wed-based 3D models derived from patient-specific image data. The system allows students to review lectures and workshops anytime and anywhere, and the materials are accessible even after the course ends. Instructors benefit as well because they can augment their lectures with multimedia or online resources, manage the presented case studies, change online course materials quickly, and create assessment tools.

Inadequacies in current Web based systems led these researchers to develop the LiverAnatomyExplorer, a plug-in-free 2D image viewer based on HTML, SVG, and JavaScript. The image stack and segmentation objects are imported on JPEG and SVG files that students can process slice-by-slice in real time using a slider.

To learn more about this technology, and to view samples of it at work, see the full article

For bios of the authors, see the article.