In this project, our plan was to create flexible augmented reality holographic displays to be used as visual aids for teaching the basic concepts of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). These visual aids were to be accompanied by lecture materials for set demonstrations such that the package can be disseminated to any faculty member wishing to teach MRI. Note that this mini-module will be deployable in any course in which MRI is covered, but will be particularly geared towards undergraduate and graduate students as well as radiology residents, and accompanying material specifically for these students will be developed alongside this visual aid.
This project ran into unanticipated difficulties due to insufficient capacity at Duderstadt (due to COVID restrictions and increased pressure for virtual solutions), and thus we were unable to implement our visual aids as holographic demos. However, we instead developed video renderings of various MRI sequences which were deployed as intended in graduate and resident education programs.
Yes, this project will continue beyond the grant period. The MRI spin dynamics demos have been incorporated into lectures for radiology residents which will be offered every summer as well as lectures for graduate students that are offered in the fall; as in person learning returns, I hope to bring these demos and lectures to classes in BME and EE as well. Because we were unable to implement these demos as holograms, we have not yet fully realized the objectives of this project. However, all of our video demos have been saved in a format which will easily enable integration into a holographic visualization system once we find an appropriate partner with expertise in Unity coding (or other holographic implementation software).
Advice to your Colleagues:
This project was greatly impacted by COVID--capacity challenges lead us to modify our original objectives to enable us to complete this project. However, our group decided to move forward with the components that we were able to accomplish, which were highly valuable to our learners despite the different format (i.e. video demos of MRI spin dynamics instead of holographic visualizations). We learned that providing a partial solution in challenging times is preferable to no solution at all, and were gratified to see that these partial solutions were met with enthusiasm. We will continue to work towards full completion of our objectives (holographic implementation) beyond the timeframe of this project.