Dr. Queen shares the possibilities of AR/VR in veterinary science


Dr. Christopher Queen is pictured here speaking to EML members.


Dr. Queen shares the possibilities of AR/VR in veterinary science

Written by Samantha Peng
Jan. 18, 2019

AR/VR/XR’s potential for the future of media, science and technology is well-known and commonly explored, but Dr. Queen introduces another use for augmented and virtual reality on Nov. 22, 2018, to enhance education in veterinary science.

“Imagine if your pet were to get ill and have to see a vet, you would want that vet to be well-trained and up to speed,” Dr. Queen said in his lecture. “That’s where virtual reality and augmented reality, in my opinion, really holds its value, in training and the education of professionals.”

AR/VR is used in human healthcare, why not animal healthcare?

Dr. Queen says AR/VR technology has been used in healthcare to treat PTSD, train surgeons, treat phobias, among other uses. A project called OSSO VR is used by residency programs all over the world to teach orthopedic surgery procedures and training in new equipment.

“This gives me confidence because if it’s working in human medicine and human surgurgical training, then there’s no reason why this is not going to work in veterinary,” said Dr. Queen.

He also introduced the Stanford Heart Project developed by Dr. David Axelrod and David Sano. In this project, you are able to step into a “functional beating heart” and observe how various drugs and illnesses affect it.

“Spending five minutes in this, honestly, has provided more learning value than I ever got from reading textbooks and trying to piece together this information from two-dimensional sources,” he said.

Use of AR/VR in veterinary science today

Although AR/VR isn’t as common in veterinary science, projects do exist. For example, there’s a VR project called EZ Anatomy, a realistic anatomy training tool for veterinarians. The haptic cow and haptic horse is also used pretty commonly by farm students if you believe haptic feedback to be VR.

In the lecture, Dr. Queen goes over a number of other examples of using AR/VR to alter or simulate animal realities for the purposes of research or simulation. He mentions the veterinary market is relatively small so some of these projects remain small as well.

Dr. Queen’s hope for the future of veterinary AR/VR

“If you were to google ‘VR/AR veterinary’, it tends to be just articles that I’ve written on the subject,” said Dr. Queen. “My hope is if I were to stand up here again next year, there would be lots more examples of real projects and real-use cases.”

If you missed Dr. Queen’s lecture, you can check out the recorded lecture on EML’s YouTube page.