Medicine students at the University of Groningen are taught how to interpret echo images of the heart in a series of practicals. Together with Dr. Nynke Elzenga, Dr. Wybe Nieuwland and Dr. Janniko Georgeadis I and my colleague Ronald Nijmeijer of the e-learning development team at the Institute for Medical Education developed an online module for one of these practicals. Our aim was to help the students understand the echo images and their link to cardiac anatomy.
My role in this process was the creation of 3D interactive models of the heart that would represent both the structures in specific echo planes and the underlying structures (which would not be visible in the echo plane, but would help the student to interpret the echo planes and relate them to the 3D anatomy they represent.
The models were based on drawings made in the dissection room and references from anatomy and cardiology books.
The foundation for the models was a series of 3D tools from the Bodyparts 3D database, which were then further modified to improve them further for the specific goal of the project. The models were built in Zbrush and uploaded to Sketchfab to enable interactive viewing. In the online module, the 3D model and the echo plane it represented were linked. Some of the final models are shown below. To view all models, visit the Sketchfab page of the e-learning development team.
All models were licensed under creative commons licensing, which enable others to further build upon the project and use it for non-commercial purposes.