Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology Simulator

IT Innovation ChallengesStaff project based in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

Trinity Term 2015

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Clinical neurology is a unique and fascinating area of medicine. Damage to a nerve or brain area usually results in consequences very distant from the point of damage. To understand how symptoms arise, detailed knowledge is required about the relations between anatomy and function. This kind of understanding has a practical component that is hard to learn purely through textbooks. Although this is generally taught by experience seeing patients, we believe that this might be facilitated with a simulation. To our knowledge, no such software exists.

Our goal is to build a simulator in which students can, on the one hand, visually browse anatomy, but on the other hand, examine a virtual patient. The anatomical images will be “connected” to the patient examination using a connectivity-based algorithm that generates clinical “bedside” signs from lesions. Students will thus be able to see, in real time, the effects of freely damaging parts of the nervous system, upon the patient.

Our proposed software will be a web-based resource, but will harness Javascript technology to calculate the visualisations on the client side.  This architecture would allow the software to run on any computer that supports Javascript, including Android mobile phones and tablets, Apple iOS devices, and desktop PCs.

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