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A novel educational tool for teaching ocular ultrasound

Authors Mustafa, Montgomery, Atta H

Published 23 June 2011 Volume 2011:5 Pages 857—860


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

MS Mustafa1, J Montgomery2, HR Atta1
1Department of Ophthalmology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, UK; 2Medi-CAL, College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK

Abstract: Ocular ultrasound is now in increasing demand in routine ophthalmic clinical practice not only because it is noninvasive but also because of ever-advancing technology providing higher resolution imaging. It is however a difficult branch of ophthalmic investigations to grasp, as it requires a high skill level to interface with the technology and provide accurate interpretation of images for ophthalmic diagnosis and management. It is even more labor intensive to teach ocular ultrasound to another fellow clinician. One of the fundamental skills that proved difficult to learn and teach is the need for the examiner to “mentally convert” 2-dimensional B-scan images into 3-dimensional (3D) interpretations. An additional challenge is the requirement to carry out this task in real time. We have developed a novel approach to teach ocular ultrasound by using a novel 3D ocular model. A 3D virtual model is built using widely available, open source, software. The model is then used to generate movie clips simulating different movements and orientations of the scanner head. Using Blender, Quicktime motion clips are choreographed and collated into interactive quizzes and other pertinent pedagogical media. The process involves scripting motion vectors, rotation, and tracking of both the virtual stereo camera and the model. The resulting sequence is then rendered for twinned right- and left-eye views. Finally, the twinned views are synchronized and combined in a format compatible with the stereo projection apparatus. This new model will help the student with spatial awareness and allow for assimilation of this awareness into clinical practice. It will also help with grasping the nomenclature used in ocular ultrasound as well as helping with localization of lesions and obtaining the best possible images for echographic diagnosis, accurate measurements, and reporting.

Keywords: ophthalmic, ultrasound, teaching, 3D, images, education

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