In 2018 I created Virtual Animal Anatomy to include the Virtual Canine Anatomy program initially developed by Dr. Ray Whalen and the Virtual Veterinary Education Tools team from 2000-2009, as well as the Virtual Equine Anatomy, Virtual Feline Anatomy, and Virtual Bovine Anatomy programs that I began developing in 2012. During the COVID pandemic, the VAA has provided a critical link to learning as a virtual laboratory. VAA-VR has been used to deliver teaching and outreach since 2021.
Prior to 2015 the Virtual Canine Anatomy (VCA) was coded in Adobe Flash and was heavily pirated. From 2015-2018 the VCA - Adobe Flash was provided to users on a free website thanks to support from an ARDF grant. Recognizing that Flash would be obsolete in 2020 and software downloads posed little longterm risk, we submitted an invention disclosure in 2018 (INV18-084) for the Adobe Flash version and began selling it through CSUVentures to generate more than $48,000 in individual program sales from August 2018-March 2020.
Using software as a service model and a standard learning management system (LMS) external tool mechanism called an LTI, we began offering subscriptions of the VAA from CVMBS servers since mid-2019. Following the COVID transition to online learning, we were able to use this mechanism to deliver anatomy resources to more than 100 schools around the world. Many of these schools are now subscribing and we have generated more than $150,000 in total income since 2020. For our subscription information, click here.
Using stereophotogrammetry, we are taking our previous image sets and turning them in to true Virtual Reality anatomy learning tools. We are also able to capture larger specimens, such as bovine or equine thorax/abdomen/pelvis in a single VR asset. Still in the development phase, this is the only animal VR program in the Mars Petcare Future of Technology space at Mars HQ. We are working with faculty at CSU and UCDavis to develop learning tools using these VR anatomical models. The effective use of VR in education is the central focus of Dr. Jason Martin's PhD research.
In 2018 we moved the VAA from Adobe Flash to HTML5 and I wanted to launch the new feline, bovine, and equine content as part of the VAA, but also wanted to prevent piracy. The VAA-LTI effectively delivered the program to entities with a learning management system, but we did not have a mechanism for the single user that would prevent piracy. This single user subscription software mechanism (launching July 2020) represents a new partnership with the CSU TMI to expand our community partnerships for CE and alumni relations.
Martin JF, Arnold OR, Linton A, Jones JD, Garrett AC, Mango DW, Juarez KA, Gloeckner G, Magee C. “How Virtual Animal Anatomy Facilitated a Successful Transition to Online Instruction and Supported Student Learning During the Coronavirus Pandemic" Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia. Accepted Feb 16, 2022. doi: 10.1111/ahe.12799
Linton A, Garrett AC, Ivie KR, Jones JD, Martin JF, Delcambre JD, Magee C. 2021. Enhancing anatomical instruction: Impact of a virtual canine anatomy program on learning outcomes. Anatomical Sciences Education. doi: 10.1002/ase.2087. PMID: 33838080.