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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 July 2006, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Gamers' skills aid X-ray students
Virtual reality suite
Students use virtual reality to train as radiographers
Technology used in 3D gaming is being harnessed to help safely train young radiographers at Teesside University.

The project, believed to be the first of its kind, allows students to work in an environment that safely simulates the conditions of an X-Ray room.

The Virtual Radiography suite makes use of information from the USA's National Library of Medicine, the world's largest medical resource centre.

The university said it intended to market the technology commercially.

Philip Cosson, senior lecturer in medical imaging at the School of Health and Social Care, said: "Ionising radiation poses risks and it is only right that we do everything possible to ensure radiographers have the knowledge and the experience to protect their patients."

'New approach'

He added: "This new virtual environment allows our students the opportunity to learn without putting themselves or patients at risk.

"We have brought the technology of 3D computer gaming to the area of medical imaging.

"At several stages the programmers have had to go back to the drawing board and start on a new approach.

"It has been very fulfilling, seeing the virtual radiography room being used by students this week."

The software for the project was developed over several years by students on a computer graphics course at the university.

Suresh Keswani, principal lecturer in visualisation, said: "The successes of our students will spawn a university-based start-up company to exploit this work commercially."

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