Two giants in the world of XR and 3D medical education are partnering to scale the “mediverse.” We reconnected with GigXR founder David King Lassman and met ANIMA RES co-founders Rodrigo (CIO) and Pablo Olmos (CEO) to learn more about the partnership. Like many great XR initiatives, it may impact you in the near future whether you know it or not.
About GigXR and ANIMA RES
Long-time ARPost readers may recall that GigXR launched in 2019 for the sole purpose of taking on XR education joint projects by Pearson and Microsoft. Lassman, a specialist in educational technology now well-rooted in Silicon Valley, was hand-picked to lead the project.
“Down the line, third-party providers will be able to publish on our platform,” Lassman told ARPost at the time. This article is the story of the first third-party provider to do just that.
ANIMA RES is a 3D medical animation company, including AR and MR through a Microsoft Mixed Reality partnership. Some of their experiences require a HoloLens or are created for specialist clients and use cases, but other experiences are available for free and can run on a standard smartphone.
“Using an accurate, high-fidelity simulation of a living body while training, rather than a corpse or a simulation puppet, helps tremendously to understand the complexity and fascination of the human body and make the learning experience so much more valuable,” Rodrigo Olmos said in a release shared with ARPost.
This ANIMA RES content will now be available alongside existing GigXR-hosted content including their Pearson and Microsoft content and content created with the University of Michigan, Cambridge University, and others.
More About the Insight Series From ANIMA RES
The current phase of the partnership will integrate the award-winning Insight Series by ANIMA RES into the GigXR platform. This series, consisting of three modules dedicated to the heart, lungs, and kidneys respectively, show each of the organs in MR. The heart module will be available first in the coming months, and I got to see an exclusive live demo via video call.
With incredible detail and clarity, slider bars adjust various health conditions showing their impacts on the organs. Graphical, text, and audio annotation and notes further help to explain the conditions and their effects on how the organs function. All the while, an intuitive user interface allows the user to rotate and scale the models as they carry out their functions.
“This is one of the things that is going to differentiate our app from other apps that you see in the market,” said Pablo Olmos. “What we’re trying to do is show the various organs in action … this is where we think our expertise lies.”
Watching the demo remotely was interesting in that it incidentally showcased how sharable the experience is. One person using a HoloLens headset could effectively create a live or recorded lesson using the software to be watched asynchronously.
Of course, this is not the intention and again, HoloLens is not required to use the software. Students can join on other devices, including mobile devices, and all look at the same model from their respective perspectives in physical space.
“For us, it’s leveraging the technology to enrich medical applications as we know it,” said Pablo. “It’s still actually the case that a lot of topics are still being taught with 2D images and texts … it’s limiting the potential to really understand.”
Exploring the Future of the Partnership
Through the partnership, ANIMA RES gets to share its content more widely – specifically to the many schools, hospitals, and other institutions that already use GigXR. Further, Lassman views GigXR as a streaming service – the more content providers have content on the platform, the more valuable the platform as a whole becomes for individual users.
“We can do things in extended reality that can really help to prepare people for medical practice,” said Lassman. “We’re driving education outcomes and there’s a strong argument that that will trickle down into driving patient outcomes.”
Further, there’s more value coming to the ANIMA RES content discussed. Each module in the Insight Series has the base content with which it will be initially uploaded, but the team plans on revisiting these modules to add new content over time through progressive updates.
“Each of the modules will get more and more content over time,” said Pablo. “And, there are other organs that are quite interesting as well.”
Lassman further commented that the speed at which ANIMA RES is developing their modules into GigXR is a testament to the seamless integration that GigXR offers. ANIMA RES is one of the first content creators that the company spoke with after releasing its developer SDK, and Lassman is excited to see it come to fruition.
“We are technologists first and foremost. We are not subject matter experts, nor are we content creators,” said Lassman. “We believe that this is going to be the first of many such partnerships.”
Better Education Means Better Medicine
XR-enhanced medical education benefits everybody. You can experience ANIMA RES content to some degree on your own no matter what you do in life. As a medical student or care provider, you can experience it through GigXR. But, you also experience the benefits of medical education through your care provider when you visit the hospital as a patient.