Microsoft highlights CWRU, Cleveland Clinic partnership in new video

Last spring, Case Western Reserve University Radiology Professor Mark Griswold told the world about ways Microsoft’s new HoloLens technology could transform teaching and learning. Last week, President Barbara R. Snyder and medical student Satyam Ghodasara joined Griswold in providing more details about how HoloLens could reshape education.

“We’ve been teaching human anatomy for the same way for [one] hundred years,” President Snyder begins in a video “case study” Microsoft released Thursday at its annual Research Faculty Summit. “Students get a cadaver, then they look at medical illustrations, and it’s completely two dimensional—and the human body isn’t.”

The company posted the video on YouTube later that day, and within 24 hours had more than 90,000 views (as of today, it has nearly a half million views). Media outlets worldwide dissected the piece to glean more insights about the device’s range of vision and other details of the technology, which has drawn increasing attention since first described publicly in January.

Case Western Reserve and Cleveland Clinic are partnering with Microsoft on HoloLens as part of its collaboration on its Health Education Campus, a state-of-the-art project that will include the schools of nursing, dental medicine, and medicine, including Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, a track within Case Western Reserve’s medical school.

One of the project’s primary goals is to pioneer new ways of preparing 21st century health care leaders. Technology is a key element of those efforts, as is an emphasis on interprofessional education. As Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove often observes, “health care is a team sport.”

Academic leaders from the three schools to be housed on the new campus, as well as faculty from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, already bring students together through various individual programs; now they are working together closely to develop broader integrated programs that make the most of the opportunities the new space presents.

Just as students from different health disciplines come together in to work through hypothetical cases studies or even “work on” computerized mannequins, the HoloLens offers the possibility of learning together with three-dimensional images of organs, systems, even surgical patients.

“You can take any anatomical part and show any of it. You can move it around you can make it kind of translucent so you can see through the outside,” Ghodasara shares in the video. “That really helped me understand how cardiac anatomy worked.”

The educational opportunities the HoloLens offers extend well beyond health care. Engineering professor Marc Buchner and a few of his students have worked with the device to model molecules or develop gaming applications. An art history student used the technology to “restore” a missing piece of a sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Griswold has spoken with several other faculty eager to explore how HoloLens could enhance learning.

As Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft’s director of Next Gen Experiences, explains in the video: “We are working with Case Western Reserve University to create this paradigm shift, so that we can leap together with students into the future of education.”