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      Communication, collaboration and contagion: “Virtualisation” of anatomy during COVID‐19

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          COVID‐19 has generated a global need for technologies that enable communication, collaboration, education and scientific discourse whilst maintaining physical distance. University closures due to COVID‐19 and physical distancing measures disrupt academic activities that previously occurred face‐to‐face. Restrictions placed on universities due to COVID‐19 have precluded most conventional forms of education, assessment, research and scientific discourse. Anatomists now require valid, robust and easy‐to‐use communication tools to facilitate remote teaching, learning and research. Recent advances in communication, video conferencing and digital technologies may facilitate continuity of teaching and research activities. Examples include highly‐interactive video conferencing technology, collaborative tools, social media and networking platforms. In this narrative review, we examine the utility of these technologies in supporting effective communication and professional activities of anatomists during COVID‐19 and after.

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          Most cited references 56

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          The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA): maintaining and operating a public information repository.

          The National Institutes of Health have placed significant emphasis on sharing of research data to support secondary research. Investigators have been encouraged to publish their clinical and imaging data as part of fulfilling their grant obligations. Realizing it was not sufficient to merely ask investigators to publish their collection of imaging and clinical data, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created the open source National Biomedical Image Archive software package as a mechanism for centralized hosting of cancer related imaging. NCI has contracted with Washington University in Saint Louis to create The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA)-an open-source, open-access information resource to support research, development, and educational initiatives utilizing advanced medical imaging of cancer. In its first year of operation, TCIA accumulated 23 collections (3.3 million images). Operating and maintaining a high-availability image archive is a complex challenge involving varied archive-specific resources and driven by the needs of both image submitters and image consumers. Quality archives of any type (traditional library, PubMed, refereed journals) require management and customer service. This paper describes the management tasks and user support model for TCIA.
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            The production of anatomical teaching resources using three-dimensional (3D) printing technology.

            The teaching of anatomy has consistently been the subject of societal controversy, especially in the context of employing cadaveric materials in professional medical and allied health professional training. The reduction in dissection-based teaching in medical and allied health professional training programs has been in part due to the financial considerations involved in maintaining bequest programs, accessing human cadavers and concerns with health and safety considerations for students and staff exposed to formalin-containing embalming fluids. This report details how additive manufacturing or three-dimensional (3D) printing allows the creation of reproductions of prosected human cadaver and other anatomical specimens that obviates many of the above issues. These 3D prints are high resolution, accurate color reproductions of prosections based on data acquired by surface scanning or CT imaging. The application of 3D printing to produce models of negative spaces, contrast CT radiographic data using segmentation software is illustrated. The accuracy of printed specimens is compared with original specimens. This alternative approach to producing anatomically accurate reproductions offers many advantages over plastination as it allows rapid production of multiple copies of any dissected specimen, at any size scale and should be suitable for any teaching facility in any country, thereby avoiding some of the cultural and ethical issues associated with cadaver specimens either in an embalmed or plastinated form.
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              A meta-analysis of the educational effectiveness of three-dimensional visualization technologies in teaching anatomy.

              Many medical graduates are deficient in anatomy knowledge and perhaps below the standards for safe medical practice. Three-dimensional visualization technology (3DVT) has been advanced as a promising tool to enhance anatomy knowledge. The purpose of this review is to conduct a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of 3DVT in teaching and learning anatomy compared to all teaching methods. The primary outcomes were scores of anatomy knowledge tests expressed as factual or spatial knowledge percentage means. Secondary outcomes were perception scores of the learners. Thirty-six studies met the inclusion criteria including 28 (78%) randomized studies. Based on 2,226 participants including 2,128 from studies with comparison groups, 3DVTs (1) resulted in higher (d = 0.30, 95%CI: 0.02-0.62) factual knowledge, (2) yielded significant better results (d = 0.50, 95%CI: 0.20-0.80) in spatial knowledge acquisition, and (3) produced significant increase in user satisfaction (d = 0.28, 95%CI = 0.12-0.44) and in learners' perception of the effectiveness of the learning tool (d = 0.28, 95%CI = 0.14-0.43). The total mean scores (out of five) and ±SDs for QUESTS's Quality and Strength dimensions were 4.38 (±SD 1.3) and 3.3 (±SD 1.7), respectively. The results have high internal validity, for the improved outcomes of 3DVTs compared to other methods of anatomy teaching. Given that anatomy teaching and learning in the modern medical school appears to be approaching a crisis, 3DVT can be a potential solution to the problem of inadequate anatomy pedagogy.

                Author and article information

                Clin Anat
                Clin Anat
                Clinical Anatomy (New York, N.y.)
                John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Hoboken, USA )
                05 August 2020
                [ 1 ] Graduate Entry Medical School University of Limerick Limerick Ireland
                [ 2 ] Department of Surgery University Hospital Limerick Limerick Ireland
                [ 3 ] Health Research Institute and Bernal Institute University of Limerick Limerick Ireland
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Kevin G. Byrnes, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland.

                Email: kevingbyrnes@ 123456rcsi.com

                © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

                This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 2, Pages: 8, Words: 7179
                Custom metadata
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.6 mode:remove_FC converted:05.08.2020


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