Immersive Virtual Environments for Medical Training

Mark W. Bowyer*, Kevin A. Streete, Gilbert M. Muniz, Alan V. Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Advances in simulation technology are fueling a paradigmatic shift in how medicine will be taught and practiced in the future. Current simulators range from simplified part task trainers to fully immersive virtual environments. We are on the verge of training platforms that provide realistic representations of medical and surgical scenarios that engage learners in a manner that approximates reality. This article reviews the rationale for developing advanced virtual environments and details the technologies that are currently available. Immersive environments using virtual reality, herein reviewed, include Cave Automated Virtual Environments, Distributive Virtual Environments for collaborative learning over the internet (Project TOUCH), Serious Games for medical education (PULSE and 3DiTeams), and a Wide Area Virtual Environment. The ultimate role of these technologies in surgical education remains to be determined but will undoubtedly play an important part in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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