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Innervate AR: Mobile Augmented Reality and Dynamic 3D Animation to Visualize the Relationship between Canine Motor Nerves and Anatomical Movement
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Augmented reality applications for anatomy education have seen a large growth in their literature presence as an educational technology. However, the majority of these new anatomy applications limit their educational scope to the labelling of anatomical structures and layers, and simple identification interactions. There is a strong need for expansion of augmented reality applications, in order to give the user more dynamic control of the anatomy material within the application. To meet this need, the mobile augmented reality application, InNervate AR, was created. This application allows the user to scan a marker for two distinct learning modules; one for labelling and identification of anatomy structures, the other one for interacting with the radial nerve of the canine forelimb. The first module matches other existing anatomy augmented reality interfaces. The second module is unique, because it allows the user to play an animation of the three-dimensional anatomy, to show what the normal range motion of the limb is, based on the motor innervation of radial nerve. Afterwards, the user can select where to make a cut along the length of the radial nerve, to cause a nerve deficit to one or more of the muscles of the limb. Based on this user input, the application can then play a new animation of the altered range of motion of the canine thoracic limb. A formal user study was run with this new application, which included the Crystal Slicing test for measuring visual spatial ability, the TOLT test to measure critical thinking ability, and both a pre- and post- anatomy knowledge assessment. Data analysis showed both a positive qualitative user experience overall, and that the majority of the participants demonstrated an improvement in their anatomical knowledge after using InNervate AR. This implies that the application may prove to be educationally effective. In future, the scope of the application will be expanded, based on this study’s analysis of user data and feedback, and educational modules for all of the motor nerves of the canine forelimb will be developed.
Cook, Margaret Elizabeth (2019). Innervate AR: Mobile Augmented Reality and Dynamic 3D Animation to Visualize the Relationship between Canine Motor Nerves and Anatomical Movement. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from