Soham Banerjee, Theresa Pham, Adriene Eastaway, William F Auffermann, Edward P Quigley 3rd
J Digit Imaging . 2023 Jan 30;1-6. doi: 10.1007/s10278-023-00784-2. Online ahead of print.
While radiological imaging is presented as two-dimensional images either on radiography or cross-sectional imaging, it is important for interpreters to understand three-dimensional anatomy and pathology. We hypothesized that virtual reality (VR) may serve as an engaging and effective way for trainees to learn to extrapolate from two-dimensional images to an understanding of these three-dimensional structures. We created a Google Cardboard Virtual Reality application that depicts intracranial vasculature and aneurysms. We then recruited 12 medical students to voluntarily participate in our study. The performance of the students in identifying intracranial aneurysms before and after the virtual reality training was evaluated and compared to a control group. While the experimental group's performance in correctly identifying aneurysms after virtual reality educational intervention was better than the control's (experimental increased by 5.3%, control decreased by 2.1%), the difference was not statistically significant (p-value of 0.06). Significantly, survey data from the medical students was very positive with students noting they preferred the immersive virtual reality training over conventional education and believed that VR would be a helpful educational tool for them in the future. We believe virtual reality can serve as an important tool to help radiology trainees better understand three-dimensional anatomy and pathology.