Augmented Reality in Medical Education

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Augmented Reality is a revolutionary technology that combines digitally generated three-dimensional representations with real-world stimuli. AR can leverage smartphones, tablets, or other devices to provide a highly engaging learning environment as well as a hands-on immersive experience. AR applications are being created for usage not only in entertainment and gaming but also in healthcare, retail and marketing, education, military, travel and tourism, automotive industry, manufacturing, architecture, and engineering. AR-based education solutions are progressively being embraced in medical institutions throughout the world because of the particular learning advantages that AR provides, such as remote learning and interactive simulations.

What are the Benefits of Augmented Reality in medical education?

AR is a new technology that is continuously evolving. AR-based programs are rapidly being used in education, particularly medical education and training , due to its versatility in merging actual and virtual settings. This technology can be used to deliver instructional information and improve students' experiences in a variety of ways.

Some of the benefits include,

1. Enhanced student learning and experiences

AR learning is frequently associated with highly good subjective personal experiences, and it can be enjoyable and entertaining to use. AR apps like Pokemon Go have been extremely popular for similar reasons. Furthermore, AR can improve learning delivery, presentation, and sensory system utilization, which are three critical components of Mayer's cognitive theory of multimedia learning.

2. Enhancement of knowledge and understanding

Medical education is related to a vast amount of knowledge about human anatomy and physical function. Rather than being accessed through a typical computer mouse, keyboard, and screen, augmented reality (AR) can improve the way medical students engage with digital anatomical depiction from all angles, delivering a more immersive experience that ultimately enhances knowledge and understanding.

3. Improved practical skills

AR is beginning to make an essential contribution to the overall goal, with multiple cohort studies confirming that teaching practical operations such as surgery using AR-based tools contributes to improvements in medical teaching and training. These systems can also frequently help in the actual surgical procedure and can overlay patient-specific anatomical information collected from imaging scans, such as in spinal surgery.

4. Improved social skills

As prospective practitioners are expected to perform their duties across a wide range of health care settings, medical school entails a considerable understanding of social relations and human behavior. AR offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to prepare learners for complicated social situations in a controlled and supervised setting. Furthermore, AR promotes the development of inter-professional abilities, which are essential for healthcare practitioners.

5. Manipulation of the digital subject

One significant feature of AR is that it allows for simple manipulation of the digital subject/object, allowing for the identification and exploration of spatial inter-relationships in three-dimensional space. In terms of anatomy, this enables the examination of complex branching nerve and blood artery routes in isolation.


AR provides chances for educators in the field of Medical education to design a comprehensive and engaging curriculum that allows students to not only learn but also experience the learning content/material. The disruption to traditional classroom teaching caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a quick adaption of digital teaching tools around the world, emphasizing the necessity of digital technology, particularly AR, in ensuring student learning is not impaired. The effective and ongoing use of digital learning tools has the potential to transform the Medical education sector.

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