MMVR 16 proceedings highlight collaboratoral and synergetic aspects of medical virtual reality technologies

Amsterdam 18 February 2008The conference proceedings of the sixteenth edition of the annual "Medicine Meets Virtual Reality" (MMVR) event, held January 29 - February 1, 2008 in Long Beach, California, have been published as the 132th volume in the series dedicated to Studies in Health Technology and Informatics by IOS Press in Amsterdam. This MMVR 2008 edition includes 125 eminent contributions to the conference theme "parallel, combinatorial, convergent: NextMed by Design".


In a concise preface, MMVR conference organizers James D. Westwood and Karen S. Morgan from Aligned Management Associates Inc. describe how the ancient and typical human tribal behaviour expresses itself in the contemporary context of groundbreaking, connectivity-enhancing information and communication technologies. We are witnessing the creation of an Internet-based and virtual network of communities. This network of allies is called upon to search for straightforward and creative health care solutions for the benefit of the developing world, using high-tech but payable applications in simulation, visualization, robotics and informatics. The barrel-shaped water carrier and the One Laptop Per Child project may exemplify a different philosophy of global solidarity in sharing knowledge and technology, accessible to every single human being.

The MMVR16 universe is spreading its wings over a multitude of areas ranging from collaborative virtual environments, medical robots, computer-aided surgery and training simulators, over soft tissue modelling and visualization to healing environment design, rehabilitation, virtual reality applied to psychological disorders, and, not to forget, education and learning facilitation. More and more medical students and trainees learn the ropes of their profession through auxiliary tools that stem from the gaming business. Sixteen papers propose and assess the use of virtual reality in medical education.

Training simulators have conquered the whole spectrum of medical specialism as proven by no less than 30 contributions. Manual skills are being refined with specially designed haptics for cutting, drilling, biopsies, anaesthesia, arthroscopy, colonoscopy, laparoscopy, lumbar puncture and needle insertion, and even veterinary surgical simulation. In addition, robotic telepresence, computer-assisted surgery and collaborative environments are gaining in popularity among medical staff, responding to an ever growing need for interactive examination, joint surgical simulation, and remote medical intervention, as shown in 27 papers.

The art of soft tissue modelling in turn requires the development of fine-tuned algorithms and careful finite element modelling to achieve the desired effects. Sixteen MMVR participating author teams provide a clear explanation of their attempts to simulate bleeding processes, apply tissue engineering, and design adequate anatomy models. The realistic visualization of organs inside the human body represents a world of its own. Different techniques such as stereoscopic photography, stereolithography, ultrasound and terahertz imaging, and augmented reality applications are passing in revue in 21 studies applied to dental, ENT and craniomaxillofacial surgery but also to radiotherapy and minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.

The use of virtual reality in rehabilitation and for psychological disorders such as combat related post traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and food abuse, and schizophrenia is being dealt with in twelve papers. The fact that a proper and appropriate design of the healing environment largely contributes to a better and faster recovery of the patient is being shown in three contributions. The MMVR 2008 proceedings include 74 papers from the United States, as well as 23 European contributions, 15 studies conducted in Asia, 4 in Canada, and 9 in Australia. Fourteen papers have been delivered by transinternational and even transcontinental teams of authors.

  • Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 16 - parallel, combinatorial, convergent: NextMed by Design
  • Edited by James D. Westwood, Randy S. Haluck, Helene M. Hoffman, Greg T. Mogel, Roger Phillips, Richard A. Robb, and Kirby G. Vosburgh
  • Published by IOS Press - Amsterdam/Berlin/Oxford/Tokyo/Washington, DC
  • 2008 - 574 p.
  • ISBN 978-1-58603-822-9
  • Available from Paul Gijsbers at IOS Press - Nieuwe Hemweg 6B - 1013 BG Amsterdam - The Netherlands
    Phone: +31-20-688-3355 - Fax: +31-20-687-0019 - E-mail:

Leslie Versweyveld

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