Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital launches Taiwan's first virtual anatomy simulation surgical textbook to assist in medical procedures.

Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital launches Taiwan's first virtual anatomy simulation surgical textbook to assist in medical procedures.

To enhance the quality of medical education, the Teaching Department of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital has launched the pioneering "Pedagogy Inheritance Project" in Taiwan. With the consent of the family, the latest 3D simulation technology is employed to assist in surgeries. By integrating technology with anatomical instructors, a "Digital Anatomy Instructor Database" is established. This allows physicians or medical students to engage in more than just single practice sessions during anatomical simulation surgeries. Through the reconstruction facilitated by AR and VR technologies, they can engage in repetitive learning, extending the profound love and wisdom of silent mentors.

The orthopedic team at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital applies the latest 3D simulation technology to assist in conducting anatomical simulation surgeries.
The orthopedic team at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital applies the latest 3D simulation technology to assist in conducting anatomical simulation surgeries.

Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital's Director of Teaching, Xie Mingzhen, pointed out that the "Silent Mentor - Pedagogy Inheritance Project" aims to record and preserve digital images of anatomical instructors before their passing. This includes pathological and physiological data such as computed tomography scans, as well as narrative interviews. All this information is integrated into a digital anatomy platform to establish a comprehensive record of their life experiences and medical history. Through the combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, along with smart glasses, the form of the anatomical instructors can be reconstructed. The "Silent Mentor" and the standardized patient, "Compassionate Mentor", are two distinctive features of Tzu Chi Medical Education. Among them, Brother Wang Jinxiong, a Tzu Chi volunteer, was one of the first standardized patients recruited by Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital in 2010. Inspired by Brother Wang and his family's dedication, he generously donated his body after his unexpected passing at the end of last year. His donation continues the legacy of love, turning the seemingly useless into something significant. His contribution is now part of the "Pedagogy Inheritance Project", making him a part of Taiwan's first virtual anatomy simulation surgical textbook.

During a recent anatomical simulation surgery held at Tzu Chi University, the orthopedic team from Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital utilized the pre-existing data of Brother Wang, a volunteer. They performed a simulated pelvic reconstruction surgery by 3D printing the pelvis in advance and incorporating MR technology. Yeh Guang-ting, the Deputy Director of the Orthopedic Department at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, illustrated that wearing 3D glasses provides surgical navigation assistance. With a robust navigation imaging system, surgeons can make better preparations preoperatively to address potential complexities encountered during orthopedic surgeries. This enables them to devise strategies beforehand and tailor the most suitable treatment plan for patients. For instance, the process of constructing bone plates or implanting bone screws, which previously required multiple visits to the operating room for observation and adjustment, can now be achieved with system assistance. Through fracture reconstruction simulation software and cloud-based transmission, precise preoperative planning can effectively reduce surgical time, patient blood loss, and overall surgical risks.

Director Xie Mingzhen expresses gratitude to the silent mentors for their selfless dedication, which has contributed to numerous medical achievements. Thanks to the advancement of digital technology, the latest touch-screen digital anatomy table can display human anatomy images and pathological information. This breakthrough eliminates the previous requirement of having a physical anatomical instructor for practice. The table, now developed to the size of a human body, can magnify pathological tissues to millions or billions of times their actual size. As a result, operators can learn about anatomy, pathology, pharmacology, and even advanced specialized treatments or surgical procedures.

Today, medical education has entered the era of "high-fidelity" simulation. Despite the contributions of silent mentors at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital and Tzu Chi University School of Medicine, not all medical institutions have sufficient surgical simulation resources for physicians and medical students. Director Xie Mingzhen emphasizes that if future technology continues to mature, continuously integrating the compassionate contributions of anatomical instructors with high-tech applications can precisely calculate and simulate every surgical step and detail to be considered. This advancement will not only benefit orthopedic patients but also extend to physicians and patients in various other medical specialties. Furthermore, it can be extended to medical institutions throughout Taiwan to assist more physicians and medical students.


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