Comenius University students are innovating the study of medicine

Tomáš Brngál, a student at Comenius University’s Faculty of Medicine, and his team at the student-led startup Virtual Medicine have come up with an idea of how to simplify and make the study of medicine more attractive; they have designed a unique virtual medical application. Students just need to put on a pair of special glasses, and, thanks to the application, they then find themselves in a virtual autopsy room where they can examine the human body in 3D.

14. 10. 2016 12.04 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

The team decided to start with anatomy because it is a core building block of medicine, and they are actively working with the Institute of Anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine. A virtual anatomical classroom has been created thanks to support from Comenius University Vice-Rector and head of the Institute of Anatomy, Associate Professor Eliška Kubíková, Samsung Slovakia, and the success of this project in the Tatra banka Foundation grant programme.  

“We are aiming to make the study of medicine easier to understand and more interesting; we hope to simplify it and make it more effective. The aim of the project is to complete and then globally market VR Anatomy – a medical educational application for students of medicine and doctors which functions on the basis of virtual reality. In the short term, we would like to create a developers’ studio which, thanks to cooperation with leading experts, will gradually innovate and apply medical education for the possibilities of the 21st century,” said Comenius University student Tomáš Brngál.

Virtual Medicine was recently successful at the Slovak Student Startup Cup in the category of Science and Medical Technology. It was also first in the Quick Pitch competition at the Startup or Shutdown conference. The team’s projects also did well at the students’ scientific conference held at the Faculty of Medicine, where they had great success in the Innovative Technology in Medicine and Applied Morphology category.

The main benefits of this application include:
Interactivity – By using various controls, users can manipulate 3D models by turning, separating, and enlarging them, just as if they were dealing with a real human body.
Being drawn into the virtual reality – The virtual environment is created using the latest computer technology which allows users to get the feeling that they are in an actual autopsy room, even though they may be sitting at home; this increases students’ concentration as they are not distracted by the perception of external matter.
Experiential learning, which increases motivation and leads to an easier memorizing of study material
A better spatial awareness than when just studying from books and mobile applications
Joining a number of senses in the learning process (sight, movement, and sound)

The long-term vision of the team is to develop advanced medical applications which will help doctors in their work and simplify their tasks.

“I value our students’ ideas and creativity in using the most modern technological methods and a virtual model environment for a more effective form of medical education and the best preparation possible for working life,” said Comenius University Rector, Professor Karol Mičieta, in appreciation of the students’ efforts.