Human Virtual Anatomy Program

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a virtual reality platform for teaching human anatomy. The software is a networked, multi-user virtual reality instruction tool that renders anatomical structures, including simulation of imaging techniques like CT and MRI, functional representative neuronal connections, and records user interaction for future playback.

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Human anatomy has been taught largely the same way for centuries, which includes studying pictures and descriptions of the human body and the use of cadaver specimens to instruct students and professionals. The advent of virtual reality and augmented reality simulations provides an excellent resource for students to learn human anatomy, as well as for medical professionals to get second opinions, practice operations and study unique or perplexing situations.


The software developed herein provides a virtual setting for gross anatomy as well as microscopic anatomy, like MRI and CT scans. The software provides a virtual meeting space, where multiple users may engage in anatomy lessons or discussion while viewing rendered images or medical imaging scans. The software is able to used by individuals in separate spaces, allowing multiple users to interact and view the presentation. The software records the meeting for any review that an attendee might want to revisit, allowing students to study from the material.


  • Revolutionary way to learn human anatomy
  • Enhanced spatial awareness
  • Ability to review recorded sessions
  • Users can be in many locations, giving access to remote areas and allowing second opinions to be reached far more readily
  • Overlay of medical imaging allows for diagnosis and comparison of patients
  • Practice of surgery can be patient specific
  • Simulations respond to user’s movements and actions, allowing interaction between the users and interface
  • Cost and space saving solution to cadaver and simulation labs


  • Education
  • Training for students or professionals
  • Research and differentiation of anatomy and anomalies
  • Diagnosis
  • Surgical tool for planning and practice of rare or unique surgeries
  • Management of patient healthcare and virtual appointments between a team of healthcare providers
  • Use of prosthetic devices in healthcare and manufacturing of custom devices
Last Updated: October 2022

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