VR entails a lot of potential for the future research in ophthalmology and beyond in any scientific field that uses three-dimensional data.
Three-dimensional (3D) virtual reality (VR) expands the realm of 2D image visualization. It enables an immersive VR experience with unhindered spatial interaction by the user. However, clinical science and medical imaging technology are traditionally displayed in two dimensions (2D) on a computer monitor.
To date the analysis of data extracted from VR applications is mainly qualitative. This study provides evidence for quantitative VR research by validating digital VR display of computed tomography (CT) data of the eye's orbit.
In the study (a collaboration of the IOB Ophthalmic Imaging group with Moorfields and the P Cattin group at the University of Basel) volumetric CT data were transferred and rendered into a VR environment. Subsequently, seven graders performed repeated and blinded diameter measurements.
The intergrader variability of the measurements in VR was much lower compared to measurements in the physical world and measurements were reasonably consistent with their corresponding elements in the real context.
This study attests the ability of VR to provide similar quantitative data alongside the added benefit of VR interfaces. VR entails a lot of potential for the future research in ophthalmology and beyond in any scientific field that uses three-dimensional data.
Maloca, P. M., et al. (2020) Validation of virtual reality orbitometry bridges digital and physical worlds. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68867-6.