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MIREIA: Mixed Reality in medical Education based on Interactive Applications


Medical education is a long and demanding process, requiring the learning of extensive theoretical knowledge as well as a set of technical and non-technical skills. Traditionally, during the early stages of education, formative methods are often based on static learning content and sometimes far removed from actual clinical practice. Currently, these methods are being replaced by new approaches based on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). New technologies, such as extended reality (which include virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and mixed reality (MR)) and three-dimensional (3D) printing, are being applied in different aspects of the medical field, including education.


Despite the popularisation of these methods and technologies, several challenges remain to be addressed in order to extract the full didactic potential of virtual models: (1) there are no existing technologies for quick and automatic generation of 3D models, which means that models must be obtained from third parties with limited personalization; (2) there are no accepted standards to exploit these novel immersive technologies with methodological guidelines in medical training, and (3) scientific evidence to support the validity of personalized models as learning and training tools is scarce.

MIREIA is a unique Knowledge Alliance involving Higher Education institutions (HEIs) and companies that will combine the use of cutting-edge technology in immersive virtual technology and 3D printing with personalized learning content to promote the student-centred learning process of medical students and residents.


MIREIA is a unique Knowledge Alliance involving Higher Education institutions (HEIs) and companies that will combine the use of cutting-edge technology in immersive virtual technology and 3D printing with personalized learning content to promote the student-centred learning process of medical students and residents. This Alliance proposes the development of an innovative methodology and tools to provide interactive pedagogical content for customized training based on 3D models, such as anatomical models (with and without pathologies) built from real-patient cases (e.g. medical imaging studies) or virtual scenarios for basic training in minimally invasive surgery (MIS).


Contents will be accessible anytime and anywhere using portable devices, extended reality (XR) visualization technologies, or printed with 3D printing technology. This will allow students to train through immersive virtual environments or in physical simulators that use personalized 3D printed models. Mentors will also be able to create and share any clinical experience as learning content for students such as medical imaging studies, 3D anatomical models based on preoperative studies, or video sequences of surgical procedures, following specific methodological guidelines. In addition, innovative tools will be implemented for the semi-automatic creation of customized 3D models for educational purposes.


This Alliance seeks to bridge the gap between classroom learning and laboratory training and actual clinical practice. All the guidelines and learning contents will be available through open access as part of the MIREIA repository, which will also act as a hub to share 3D models and learning contents. To test the viability of the solution, validation will be carried out for three medical use cases: medical anatomy, laparoscopy and flexible endoscopy.