Date of Award

Summer 8-2023

Document Type

Thesis (Master's)

Department or Program

Computer Science

First Advisor

Lorie Loeb

Second Advisor

James Mahoney

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Murnane


AnatoView is an interactive multimedia educational application that visualizes medical procedures in three-dimensional (3D), augmented reality (AR) space. By providing visual and spatial information of medical procedures, AnatoView acts as a learning supplement for laypersons/patients in informed consent (IC) processes — wherein instructional content is traditionally limited to purely spoken explanations that lead to poor patient comprehension. We design a mixed study and conduct a randomized, controlled trial with 15 laypersons as participants: administering a traditional IC process to a control group, and an IC process supplemented by the use of AnatoView to experimental groups. As a primary outcome, medical comprehension was measured through the change in participants' scores on a 10-question comprehension assessment given pre-and-post-intervention. As secondary outcomes, communicativity was measured through the number of questions participants asked their physician, and engagement was measured through the percentage of participants who report feeling engaged while learning. Users demonstrated significant improvement vs. non-users in all three major outcomes — of medical comprehension (4.3 vs. 2.8; p = 0.04), communicativity (4.4 vs 0.4; p = 0.01), and self-reported engagement (100% vs 40%; p = 0.02) — leading us to conclude that AnatoView was highly effective for laypersons' medical comprehension. The application equipped users with the visuospatial cognition necessary for their medical comprehension, facilitated non-verbal communication modalities that were accessible for laypersons, and helped users play an active role in their learning, while learning at their own pace.