3D graphics to virtual reality in medicine: Opportunities and prospective

Erik N. Gaasedelen, Paul A. Iaizzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Today, in medicine, performing a procedure on a human requires complex anatomical and physiological knowledge, including 3D relational and physical properties. All commonly employed imaging modalities attempt to recapitulate this information in some useable form. Each technique, however, can only retrieve a small slice of spatial, temporal, or conceptual knowledge of the body area of interest. Furthermore, in some cases like computed tomography, a large amount of information is gathered without a clear strategy for manual or automated analysis. Current software developments are slowly realizing a convergence of medical imaging methodologies toward one of greater realism. For the purposes of this chapter, this “coming together” of disciplines will be delineated as the field of 3D graphics. Although this is a simplification, 3D graphics will be the primary foundation for a much larger hybridized field whose aim will be the creation of informative and accurate medical spatial representations. To understand how this will affect the clinical fields, we will need to first explore 3D graphics more holistically, delving into areas of physical simulation, 3D movie rendering, video game development, and the expansion of 3D visualization hardware. As we explore these fields, we will relate each of these subdomains to analogous examples in the medical field, also documenting opportunities for commercialization and innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngineering in Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances and Challenges
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128130681
ISBN (Print)9780128135143
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • 3D graphics
  • 3D visualization
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Augmented reality
  • Physical simulation
  • Virtual reality


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