MMVR 11 proceedings explore "NextMed" horizon in simulation and modelling

Amsterdam 29 April 2003The conference proceedings of the eleventh edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event, held January 22-25, 2003 in Newport Beach, California, have been published as the 94th volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This MMVR 2003 edition includes 86 papers, presenting state-of-the-art applications in Virtual Reality for the health care practice, under the general theme of "NextMed: Health Horizon", in which the editors support the integration of information technology with biological and physical sciences for a future of improved health care.


Dr. C. Donald Combs from the National Center for Collaboration in Medical Modelling and Simulation and the Office of the Vice President for Planning and Programme Development at Eastern Virginia Medical School has put the proceedings of the three most recent MMVR conferences into statistics which he presents in a study analysing the past, present and future MMVR research space. The author has classified the research papers introduced at the 2000, 2001 and 2002 MMVR conferences into seven categories relating to procedural simulation, modelling, diagnosis, therapy, education, validation, and telemedicine.

The naked figures in the charts show a careful shift from the rather technical aspects of simulation and modelling towards the more practical topics of diagnosis and therapy which each year more than doubled in number. In 2001 (27 papers), there was a sudden growth in popularity for the educational items but in 2002 (16 papers), they shrunk back to the same level as in 2000 (14 papers). Dr. Combs however strikes a critical note with regard to the lack of interest for validation. Together with telemedicine, it scores the lowest rates in three years, with respectively three papers in 2000, four in 2001, and again three in 2002.

The author stresses the need for enhanced collaboration and reflection among the MMVR researchers who are endowed with a diversity of knowledge and skills, in order to pay a more vivid attention to the performance standardisation of new technologies in medicine, as well as the validation of their compliance with these standards and of their effectiveness. Only then will it be possible to materialise the use of virtual reality techniques into daily clinical routine, to make these more unconventional applications eligible for reimbursement, and ultimately to transform the practice of medical and health professionals into a more refined patient care.

In this year's edition of the proceedings, some forty-one papers are dedicated to the use of simulators and surgical training systems for minimally invasive surgery, cranio-maxillofacial interventions, robotically-assisted surgery, knee arthroscopy, needle insertions, laryngoscopy and laparoscopy. The use of virtual reality for the sake of homeland defence and in order to counter bioterrorism is addressed in two studies. Immersion into virtual environments is applied for aid in psychological disorders such as schizophrenia. Approximately sixteen studies deal with the theoretical issues of modelling.

Eighteen presentations introduce pioneering approaches of volume visualisation and imaging modalities. Rehabilitation is treated in two papers as well as some innovative ways to build the operating room of the future. One study describes a wireless and paperless electronic record system and another one a telemedicine application called the "Virtual Visit". The MMVR 2003 proceedings include 39 papers from the United States, as well as 31 European contributions, 15 studies conducted in Asia, one in Canada, and two in Brazil.

  • Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 11 - NextMed: Health Horizon
  • Edited by James D. Westwood, Helene M. Hoffman, Greg T. Mogel, Roger Philips, Richard A. Robb, and Don Stredney.
  • Published by IOS/Ohmsha Press - Amsterdam/Berlin/Oxford/Tokyo/Washington, DC
  • 2003 - 422 p.
  • ISBN 1 58603 320 4
  • Available from Marcella Janmaat at IOS Press - Nieuwe Hemweg 6B - 1013 BG Amsterdam - The Netherlands
    Phone: +31-20-688-3355 - Fax: +31-20-620-3419 - E-mail:

Leslie Versweyveld

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